This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
League One side Wycombe Wanderers are in talks to sign Stoke City outcast Sam Vokes, according to Football Insider.
The former Welsh international has been given permission to leave the bet365 Stadium after enduring a tough two-and-a-half years in Staffordshire – and with just 12 months left on his current deal – officials at Stoke are now willing to cut their losses and cash in on the 31-year-old.
Wycombe Wanderers have recently lost key striker Uche Ikpeazu, who was their top scorer in the Championship last season, to Middlesbrough for an undisclosed fee and will be hoping to utilise some of the revenue generated from this deal to secure Vokes.
League One rivals Shrewsbury Town were also said to be interested in a move for the forward last month but with the Chairboys playing second-tier football and the potential to compete at the top end of League One, Gareth Ainsworth now looks to be in pole position to seal this deal.
This is a fall from grace for the 31-year-old, who scored in a European Championships quarter-final against Belgium just five years ago and performed well at Burnley before joining the Potters, but could potentially use this opportunity to kickstart his career.
Taking this into account and his failure to kick on under Stoke manager Michael O’Neill, is he a good signing for Gareth Ainsworth’s side? And is he someone they need with Adebayo Akinfenwa still at Adams Park?
We asked three of our writers for their verdict on this potential move.
What club do these 21 former Wycombe Wanderers players ply their trade at now?
I think it’s certainly worth a look.
Vokes could be a real force at League One level given the experience he has got in the top two tiers of English football and he is also the sort of presence the Chairboys need to add given they lost Uche Ikpeazu earlier on in the transfer window to Middlesbrough.
Obviously, Wycombe have other options going forwards that will feel they can also fill the void but I do think it makes sense to add another face and Vokes is a player that could be someone that the club really rallies around for the coming season as they look to bounce back into the Championship at the first time of asking.
Gareth Ainsworth deserves lots of trust and I think you can back him to get this one right.
This would be a major coup for Wycombe, especially as they are now back in Sky Bet League One for the 2021/22 season.
Vokes has international pedigree and is arguably a class above the third tier if truth be told.
He offers a brilliant physical presence and would be an almost like for like replacement for the now-departed Uche Ikpeazu.
I’m shocked by how far his stock has fallen at Stoke City but at the same time he needs a fresh start and this could revitalise his career.
I’d have to say fair play to the Chairboys if they manage to pull off this ambitious move.
I do think that this could actually be a rather good signing for Wycombe this summer.
Despite the departure of Uche Ikpeazu to Middlesbrough earlier in the transfer window, Wycombe have yet to bring in a striker, something they will surely have to change if they are to be competitive in League One next season.
Bringing in Vokes to fill that role could therefore be a smart move, since it would boost the firepower on offer to Gareth Ainsworth’s side, who may well be targeting a swift return to the Championship.
Admittedly, things haven’t quite worked out for Vokes at Stoke so far, but he has in the past shown he can make an impact in the Premier League, and indeed the Championship, meaning he could well flourish in the third-tier at Adams Park.
This could therefore be seen as something of a show of intent from Wycombe, so I do think this is one worth pursuing for the Chairboys.