Stoke City are facing a crucial next few weeks in the transfer market and they will need to continue adding to their squad to be ready for the first game of the new campaign.
The Potters have so far managed to bring in just Jack Bonham and Ben Wilmot, with most of their business having been outgoings. That has seen the likes of Ryan Woods, Nathan Collins, Kevin Wimmer, Liam Lindsay, John Obi Mikel, Moritz Bauer and Jordan Cousins all depart.
However, Stoke are close to finalising a move for former Norwich City midfielder Mario Vrancic according to The Telegraph reporter John Percy. It is believed he will be announced by the Potters on Monday after he has completed his medical.
According to the latest report from The Sun journalist Alan Nixon, the Potters are now interested in making a move for Accrington Stanley forward Dion Charles. The striker is in-demand this summer and already has other suitors after scoring 19 league goals last term.
So, with Stoke in the race for Charles, we take a look at ONE winner and ONE loser that would emerge if the move happened…
Winner: Nick Powell
One player who could benefit from someone like Charles arriving at Stoke this summer is Nick Powell. The attacking midfielder could flourish playing close to the forward next season in the Championship and it could enable him the chance to link-up with the 25-year-old and look to lay on some chances for the striker.
Powell has at times been asked to play as a lone forward during his time with Stoke with their options upfront limited at certain points. Charles is a player that has been able to stay largely injury-free at Accrington, making 42 and 33 league appearances in the last two seasons.
Therefore he is someone that the Potters should be able to rely on to lead the line for them for a majority of a campaign in the Championship.
His arrival would allow Powell to find more minutes in his more natural attacking midfield role and also give him the chance to combine with a player who could finish off the chances he will create.
Quiz: What was the score the last time Stoke City played each of these 25 teams?
Loser: Jacob Brown
Conversely, one player that could potentially suffer from Charles arriving at Stoke is Jacob Brown. The forward was largely used upfront by Michael O’Neill last season in the Championship but he was limited to 27 league starts. In that time he managed to register five goals and that is not really enough to suggest he should be the first choice in that kind of position.
Charles would have to be someone that starts ahead of Brown upfront next term and that means that the 23-year-old might have to get used to more time on the substitutes bench.
Although there is of course the option that O’Neill could use the attacker in a different role and maybe deploy him in one of the wider positions in the final third.
Next season is an important one for Brown and he needs to find a way to truly establish himself in the Potters’ strongest possible starting line-up.
The arrival of someone like Charles would make that less likely for him and would mean he needs to work harder to convince O’Neill he can be a regular starter at the Bet365 Stadium.