Former Sheffield Wednesday winger Adam Reach has been back in the headlines recently.
According to The Sun’s Alan Nixon, recently-relegated side West Bromwich Albion are interested in a move for the 28-year-old who was released by the Owls in the summer following their relegation to the League One.
After seeing wingers Kyle Edwards and Kamil Grosicki leave The Hawthorns on the expiration of their contracts, as well as Hal-Robson Kanu who regularly played out wide during his earlier playing days, the fact Valerien Ismael’s side are linked with a winger comes as no surprise.
Star man Matheus Pereira also looks set to leave the West Midlands in the next month, making this an even more pressing issue for the Frenchman to address with the new season approaching.
Although there seems to be a limited budget at West Brom, the potential sale of Pereira and the Baggies’ status as one of the favourites to go back up makes this an extremely surprising move, although it could be one that could pay dividends during next season when injuries start to creep in and strength in depth is needed.
Regardless of his relegation with Sheffield Wednesday, this is not representative of the 28-year-old and he would be a perfectly useful squad player to have at the club with his wealth of Championship experience and the threat he possesses going forward.
However, he would only be that: just a squad player.
Arguably at the peak age of his career, Reach might be reluctant to take a back seat at West Brom after being an ever-present figure in former side Wednesday’s starting lineup for the past five seasons, even if the Baggies are involved in a promotion chase next season.
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What next for Reach if they are promoted again? Is he likely to be a part of their Premier League squad in the future? Probably not.
And this is where Stoke City should pounce, especially with James McClean and Tom Ince likely to move on in this window after being left out of the Potters’ training camp in Northern Ireland.
These two potential departures could allow Reach and Michael O’Neill’s side to strike a mutually beneficial deal and bring the winger to the bet365 Stadium.
The 28-year-old recorded five goals and three assists in a struggling Championship side last term, something O’Neill would be able to vastly improve if he can get the very best out of Reach.
He may not have the winning mentality officials at Stoke City will crave after the Staffordshire side’s three consecutive mediocre seasons, with the wide man’s relegation last term, but Mario Vrancic will already provide that after joining from Norwich City.
The former Sheffield Wednesday man will also want to prove he’s still got what it takes to be a valuable Championship player, a motivating factor that can only help Stoke after being stuck in mid-table since their relegation three years ago.
And let’s face it, finances at the bet365 Stadium are tight after a wild summer of spending in 2018, so this would be a good signing that provides quality, squad depth and second-tier experience at a low cost.
It would be a very difficult race to win considering West Brom’s apparent interest, but the opportunity of more first-team football and the chance to work alongside Nick Powell and Mario Vrancic in Stoke’s starting lineup may just tempt Reach to Staffordshire.
It’s a signing they should look to complete as long as his wage demands aren’t too high.