Stoke City have made a strong start to this Championship campaign, picking up 21 points from 11 games, and sitting comfortably in the play-off positions.
Excluding the current top two, The Potters possess the best defensive record in the record in the division, a vitally important factor if they are to maintain this early promotion form.
Michael O’Neill’s side have also developed an excellent trait of winning in different ways, with some victories coming in the form of relatively straightforward-forward, strong performances, whilst in some matches, they had to grit their teeth and grind out wins.
Stoke return to Championship action after this international break with a tough test at Bramall Lane, before welcoming the league leaders to the Bet 365 Stadium, when Bournemouth come to town.
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With clubs starting to look at what can be done in the January transfer window, here are two transfer situations for stoke fans to keep an eye on.
Harry Souttar to the Premier League
Stoke centre-back Harry Souttar is attracting the interest of several top-tier clubs at the moment, and a move to the Premier League could be on the cards.
Football Insider has outlined a third Premier League club who have joined the race for Souttar, and that club is Aston Villa.
It remains to be seen if an offer comes to fruition in January, or if any more top-tier clubs express an interest.
Souttar has been mightily impressive thus far this season, taking a more senior role in Stoke’s backline, with Ben Wilmot (21) and Leo Ostigard (21) operating next to him.
Liam Delap pursuit in January
The availability of Manchester City starlet Liam Delap – Rory’s son – was closely monitored by several Championship clubs during the summer.
However, an exclusive Football league World report that broke out just after the window slammed shut, outlined that Stoke could try their luck again in January, with the report also suggesting that the Premier League champions could be open for him to head to Staffordshire.
Stoke do have some strong options in forward positions with Sam Syringe coming in and Steven Fletcher also still in contention, but Delap would add something completely different to that frontline.
The young forward possesses a lot of pace and energy, but he also has the intelligence to make selfless runs to create space for others.