Stoke City are facing a crucial period in the run-up to the January transfer window with the Potters needing to protect their key assets after their strong start to the campaign.
Michael O’Neill’s side have managed to establish themselves amongst the promotion contenders in the Championship this season, and they put down a major marker of their credentials by securing a 1-0 win against West Brom at home on Friday night.
Given the strong start that Stoke have made to the campaign, it is to be expected that one or two of their most important players will start to be attracting the interest of other clubs.
The interest in Souttar will not come as a shock to the Potters and they had to field some interest in him in the summer. However, the defender’s importance to the side means that it is unlikely that they would cash in on him partway through a campaign they are performing so well in.
O’Neill’s side though face a difficult decision over the future of another key member of their starting line-up this season as well in January.
Josh Tymon is currently set to be out of contract at the Bet365 Stadium at the end of the season. According to a report from The Sun on Sunday (03/04/21, p60), the defender’s contractual situation is now something that the Potters are sweating over given his strong performances so far this term.
The defender has had to really bide his time over the last few years and prove his worth to a couple of different managers as he attempted to force his way into Stoke’s side on a regular basis.
That has seen Tymon take in loan spells with both MK Dons and Portuguese outfit Famalicão. However, the 22-year-old is starting to now earn that recognition this season after he made 26 appearances and 16 starts in the league last term.
So far this season, Tymon has managed to start all eleven of the Potters’ opening fixtures. He has been a strong performer for them averaging 1.6 key passes per game and also completing one successful dribble per match.
There are few players in the Championship who have shown more improvement over the course of the first 11 game this season than Tymon.
That is testament to the way that O’Neill has developed his game on the training ground and provided him with the confidence to come into the side and take his chance this term.
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The issue for Stoke is that now according to the report from The Sun on Sunday (03/10/21, p60), other teams have been alerted to Tymon’s contractual situation and are becoming interested in the possibility of signing him on the cheap or on a free transfer.
Stoke can not afford to allow one of their most improving players to leave the club at this stage without putting up a major fight.
Agreeing fresh terms over a new long-term deal with the defender has to be a priority for the Potters. You would have to think that after waiting patiently for his chance in their first-team, Tymon will not be wanting to walk away now that he has earned his place in the side.
Therefore, Stoke should be able to get a new contract sorted out with Tymon and it would be the right move for all concerned if he does commit his future to the club.