MLS side New York Red Bulls want to keep Stoke City defender Tom Edwards on a long-term basis and have enquired into the possibility of doing so, according to Once A Metro.
The 22-year-old spent the entire 2021 season in the United States with the iconic club after falling out of favour with Michael O’Neill at the Bet365 Stadium.
Edwards spent the first few months of the 2020-21 campaign with Fleetwood Town in League One before heading over to the Red Bulls, managed by ex-Barnsley head coach Gerhard Struber.
Quiz: 30 questions about Stoke City’s best strikers from the last 5 years – Can you score 30/30?
Playing 28 matches for NYRB in the MLS and then the subsequent play-offs, Edwards impressed at both right-back and on the right side of a back three and understandably they want to keep him around despite playing the final match of his loan spell already.
The Red Bulls would seemingly like to secure a permanent move for Edwards but the player’s agent stated last week that he wants to return to Stoke to train ahead of being potentially selected by O’Neill for the Potters from January onwards.
It’s a sentiment echoed by O’Neill as he revealed he’s looking forward to seeing Edwards return to the Stoke fold as a better player following his year in the States, potentially meaning that a permanent move across the Atlantic Ocean won’t happen.
Stoke’s current first-choice right-wing-back Tommy Smith is 29 and not getting any younger so it would make sense to bring Edwards back in to provide better competition.
Demeaco Duhaney came in over the summer after leaving Huddersfield but he’s probably not ready for regular Championship football yet and O’Neill’s decision to play Ben Wilmot there against Millwall in October probably proved that.
Edwards though has experience at the level and will have learnt a great deal from his time in the USA, so he could come in and make a difference.
He possesses a good delivery from crosses and it’s something that the returning Tyrese Campbell could thrive from if Edwards is actually given a chance – one he probably deserves.