Michael O’Neill has revealed Stoke City missed out on signing both QPR’s Lyndon Dykes and Cardiff City’s Kieffer Moore last summer due to both the finances of the deals and the makeup of his squad.
Dykes joined the R’s from Livingston last summer and after a slow start to life in west London has been in hot form recently – scoring seven goals and adding two assists in his last eight games.
According to the Stoke Sentinel, the Potters were keen on the Scotsman before the R’s won the race for him last summer – with Moore another target before Cardiff signed him from Barnsley in the same window.
No player in his current squad has scored more than Dykes (12) or Moore (20) this term and, speaking to the Stoke Sentinel ahead of the clash against QPR today, O’Neill discussed why the Potters missed out on those deals.
On the topic of signing strikers cheaply, he said: “Yeah, they are out there.
“We signed one for nothing. Lyndon might have got up to £1.5m or £1.8m, the deal. We had to be mindful of what our position was and where we could invest in the team.
“Also at the time, we had Benik Afobe back in training with the club, Lee Gregory training, Sam Vokes training. You can’t just accumulate players. You have to try to accommodate what you have and try to add and improve your squad in the right area.
“With both of those players, we felt it wasn’t right at that minute in time given where the deals were going financially.”
With Nick Powell’s contract set to expire this summer and the futures of both Lee Gregory and Benik Afobe unclear, you feel the Potters will likely be searching for a new striker again in the upcoming window.
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Given how both strikers have fared this season, O’Neill’s admission that Stoke missed out on both may frustrate some Stoke fans.
Dykes is understood to have cost the R’s £2 million, while Moore reportedly joined for a little less than that – which looks like nothing compared to some of the money spent by the Potters in recent years.
It’s understandable that the Northern Irish coach didn’t want to add to an already inflated striking unit but Afobe and Gregory have offered Stoke nothing this season, suggesting they may have made the wrong option.
Hopefully, they can put that this summer.