Could it be like waiting for a bus? Stoke City fans have waited 20 months for a left-back and now, having brought in Morgan Fox, the club is being linked with a move for Leeds United youth Leif Davis.
Michael O’Neill had signing a new left-back underlined a couple of times as he headed into his first pre-season in charge at Stoke, having primarily used centre-half Bruno Martins Indi to fill the gap since taking the reins in November.
Fox arrived having left Sheffield Wednesday at the end of his contract in June and made his first appearance in a 1-0 friendly win at Linfield yesterday.
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Still, The Mirror claims that 20-year-old Davis is a wanted man in the Potteries and at League One Portsmouth on a season-long loan.
They write: “The promising left-back has made 10 appearances during the past two seasons under Marcelo Bielsa… and signed a new three-and-a-half year deal tying him to Leeds until the summer of 2023.
“But with Stuart Dallas, Barry Douglas and Ezgjan Alioski ahead of him in the pecking order, Davis is set to gain experience elsewhere.
“Championship Potters would be Leeds’ preferred option.”
O’Neill also has Josh Tymon on his books, with the 21-year-old former England youth used on the wing and in defence yesterday.
He made an explosive cameo on the final day of last season at Nottingham Forest having not featured previously since January and clubs are on alert to see if he will be available on loan.
“It was good for him to get the goal,” said O’Neill. “We played him higher up the pitch today and it’s probably not his best position, I would suggest. But he worked hard and it was good for him to get the goal.
“I thought he looked a bit more comfortable when he played at left-back rather than wide left.”
Fox was withdrawn at half-time, having suffered blisters though a five-day training camp in Belfast.
O’Neill said: “He’s an experienced Championship player, 26 turning 27. He’s breaking through to the Wales squad hopefully and to get a player of that calibre with no transfer fee is a big plus for us. He’s been very good since he came in. He showed his quality against Linfield.
“He’s very reliable, he doesn’t make mistakes and I think him and James McClean will be a very strong pairing on that side.
“He’s the right fit for a back four and in other systems he could also play as a wing-back or left-sided centre-back. So he gives us a lot of options.”
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