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Opinion: Stoke City must avoid being dragged into potential transfer battle for 25-year-old



Stoke City will be desperate to move forward as a club following a frustrating 2021/22 campaign in the Championship.

After initially making a relatively positive start to the season under the guidance of manager Michael O’Neill, the Potters experienced a slump in form after the turn of the year which effectively ended their hopes of challenging for a place in the play-offs.

O’Neill has already decided to make some alterations to his squad ahead of the upcoming transfer window.

Steven Fletcher, Tommy Smith, Tom Ince and James Chester are all set to leave the bet365 Stadium upon the expiry of their contracts whilst six members of the club’s youth squad will also move on to pastures new.

Stoke have already been linked with a host of players this summer as they aim to assemble a squad which is capable of reaching new heights in the second-tier.

One of the individuals who has recently emerged as a potential target for the Potters is Andy Rinomhota.

According to a report from Bristol Live, Stoke have joined Bristol City in the race for the Reading midfielder.

Rinomhota’s current deal with the Royals is set to expire at the end of June and thus will become a free-agent if he opts to reject the new contract offer that he has received from the club.

If the Potters are indeed looking to make a move for the midfielder, it could be argued that they may find it more beneficial to avoid being dragged into a battle for his signature this summer.

During the previous campaign, Rinomhota struggled considerably with his fitness as he missed a large chunk of the year due to two separate injuries.

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When Rinomhota was fit enough to feature, he failed to deliver the goods on a consistent basis in the Championship for Reading.

In the 20 appearances that he made at this level, the 25-year-old only managed to average a WhoScored match rating of 6.42.

Given that Nick Powell, Lewis Baker, Mario Vrancic and Sam Clucas all recorded better ratings than this aforementioned total, there is no guarantee that Rinomhota will be an upgrade on this quartet.

With there being no guarantee that the midfielder will be able to avoid injury next season, Stoke would be taking a significant risk by offering him a long-term contract.

Therefore, unless O’Neill believes that Rinomhota can become a key member of the club’s squad in the not-too-distant future, he should switch his attention to other targets.

Freelance writer for Football League World. Previously worked for 90min & GiveMeSport.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Stoke City must avoid being dragged into potential transfer battle for 25-year-old

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