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‘Would give them a different dimension’ – Stoke City plot transfer raid on Championship rivals: The verdict

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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…

Stoke City are interested in signing winger Josh Bolwer from Championship rivals Blackpool, a report from TeamTalk has claimed.

Bowler only joined Blackpool in the summer on a free transfer following the expiry of his contract with Everton.

The 22-year-old signed a one-year contract with Blackpool, who have the option to extend that deal by a further 12 months.

Since then, Bowler has scored two goals and provided three assists in 29 appearances in all competitions for Blackpool, seemingly attracting plenty of attention from elsewhere in the Championship.

According to this latest update, Stoke – who currently sit eighth in the Championship, five points off the play-off places – are one of several second-tier sides who are interested in the winger.

So would Bowler be a good signing for Stoke? And is he a player they need to bring to the bet365 Stadium?

We asked some of our Football League World writers for their thoughts on this potential deal, and here, is a look at what they had to say.

Alfie Burns

Whether Bowler is someone that Stoke desperately need, I’m not so sure, although that’s not to say that he wouldn’t be a decent addition for O’Neill this month.

The 22-year-old has three assists to his name in the Championship this season and is showing clear signs of improvement when it comes to his output versus years gone by.

Stoke obviously play with a wing-back system mainly, which would make you think that O’Neill’s priorities this month would probably come elsewhere in the transfer window.

However, adding someone like Bowler to offer something a touch different wouldn’t be a stupid move.

It’s probably just something that Stoke need to look at later in the transfer window, after they’ve sorted other key positions – something it sounds like they are well on with doing.

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Josh Cole

Whilst Josh Bowler has managed to produce some impressive performances for Blackpool this season, he may not be the right fit for Stoke.

Whereas Bowler has featured predominantly as a winger during the current campaign, Stoke have recently utilised a formation which is reliant on full-backs providing width.

Unless Michael O’Neill is willing to change his set up in order to get the best out of Bowler, he should avoid being dragged into a potential transfer tussle for the Blackpool man.

By switching his attention to strengthening his squad in other areas, the Stoke boss could bolster the club’s chances of securing a top-six finish in the Championship.

Adam Jones

The Potters may not operate with orthodox wingers, but this signing would give them a different dimension going forward and that can only be a plus for Michael O’Neill.

Tom Ince may be playing slightly more now than he was in the early stages of the campaign, but getting his wages off the book either now or at the end of the campaign would be useful and Bowler would be a cheaper alternative out wide.

It would take time for Bowler to adapt to life at the bet365 Stadium with O’Neill’s set system – but whether Stoke should pursue this deal depends on how much his price tag rises to. With multiple clubs interested including Nottingham Forest, that may push his price tag up.

The Stoke of 2018 may have pursued his signature regardless – but they now look to be more financially prudent so they must know when to pull out of the race if they do.


UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘Would give them a different dimension’ – Stoke City plot transfer raid on Championship rivals: The verdict

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