Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill has revealed that he had been informed that Tyrese Campbell would be leaving the club when he had first taken over at the Bet365 Stadium.
The 20-year-old was entering into the final year of his contract when O’Neill arrived at Stoke a year ago, and the forward was being heavily linked with a potential move away from the club with the likes of Celtic and Rangers, in particular, having shown an interest in the forward, as per Football Insider.
However, eventually, Campbell put pen to paper on a new four-and-a-half-year deal during the January transfer window. The 20-year-old’s father and former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has revealed that the forward was convinced to sign a new deal largely by the stability O’Neill brought to the club, as per Football Insider.
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Speaking in his press conference after Stoke’s 3-0 win at Reading, O’Neill revealed that he had been told that Campbell would be one of the players leaving the club when he arrived. While he also opened up on the importance of keeping hold of him and giving more game time to the Potters’ rising stars.
He said: “Overall we’ve tried to reduce the squad, we’ve tried to reduce the cost of the squad with wages so we’re a bit more self-sufficient.
“We’re obviously in difficult times with where clubs are financially, all clubs.
“You can always go out and look for players but we had players around the club we felt could contribute. The likes of Harry Souttar, Nathan Collins. Tyrese Campbell is an example of a player who when I arrived at the club I was told that he was leaving. He’s now on a long-term contract at the club.
“We didn’t want potential to leave the building so we had to address that. Equally then we had to get the right types of characters and right types of players into the building. I think we’ve done that.”
Keeping hold of Campbell seemed like an impressive piece of business during the January window last season, with Stoke still in and around the relegation mix at the time and the forward having had plenty of offers and interest from elsewhere. O’Neill though was able to show him that the Bet365 Stadium was the best place for his development.
O’Neill has helped Campbell properly establish himself as an integral part of Stoke’s forward line and the 20-year-old is enjoying a strong start to the campaign. He has so far managed to score three goals and provide five assists, having managed nine goals and two assists last term (Sofascore).
That shows O’Neill is unlocking the creative potential in Campbell as well as his goal-scoring abilities. If the forward can continue to improve under the Northern Irishman then his value will rocket and it is looking like an astute piece of business by the Potters to keep hold of him.