Stoke City Chief Executive Tony Scholes has stated he’s hopeful of bringing in ‘one or two’ more signings through the door at the bet365 Stadium before the start of the season, in an interview with Stoke Live.
The Potters have already brought in three signings, with goalkeeper Jack Bonham, Watford centre-back Ben Wilmot and former Norwich City midfielder Mario Vrancic all coming in this summer.
But with this, several high-profile players have also made a move away from Staffordshire, including Nathan Collins, John Obi Mikel, Bruno Martins Indi and Liam Lindsay on permanent deals, as well as Peter Etebo and Benik Afobe to Watford and Millwall on loan deals.
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With Michael O’Neill’s side coming very close to breaking the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules after a high summer of spending in 2018, a period that has continued to hamper their ability to complete deals to the present day, these departures were arguably necessary for the sake of the club’s financial health.
And because of these sales, the club’s Chief Executive Tony Scholes is now more confident of bringing in a couple of players and are currently pursuing a couple more players ahead of next month’s Championship opener against Reading.
Speaking to Stoke Live, Scholes said: “By moving on the number of players that we have done, we have manoeuvred a little bit of room in terms of finances and within the squad, which is what we have wanted to do.
“We have completed a few important incomings too, in terms of Ben and Mario, and of course Jack, deals that at this stage look to be very good ones for the club.
“But we are still active and working on other possible signings too.
“Given the work we have done with the outgoings, there is still room to bring one or two more in too – hopefully before the season starts, but certainly before the closure of the transfer window.”
This may not have been the most exciting transfer window for Stoke fans, possibly a disappointing one with the loss of Nathan Collins to Burnley, but it has been a much-needed summer for the Potters who have seen teams like Reading and Derby County continue to be hampered by a transfer embargo.
There’s no doubting the last few months will have helped Michael O’Neill’s side to improve their financial health and secure a stable future for the next few years.
And the fact they have managed to receive a transfer fee on three players is also a boost, considering the number of players across the Championship who have been released for nothing this summer on the expiration of their contracts.
But with the likes of Sam Vokes, Lee Gregory, James McClean and Tom Ince all set to leave the club before the end of next month, there might be a need for more than one or two signings depending on what O’Neill is thinking.
The Staffordshire side do need to lift themselves from the lower midtable position they have found themselves in over the past three seasons though – and these potential signings could be a game-changer for them going into next season.