Stoke City have this big striker decision to make



Striker Mame Diouf is sweating on whether the coronavirus crisis will offer him a reprieve at Stoke City.

Diouf is out of contract at the end of June and would ordinarily have shaken hands with the club and walked away after six years in the Potteries.

But with the season being extended in all likelihood because of the coronavirus outbreak, Stoke have a decision to make on Diouf and also Adam Federici and Stephen Ward who are in the same boat.

The club could lean towards new deals for Federici and Ward – even if they are only short-term to see the club through to the end of the season – because manager Michael O’Neill will want cover in the goalkeeping and left back positions respectively.

But the club may have to take a harder line with the bigger earning Diouf in the prevailing economic climate.

The fact that Stoke aren’t short, barring a sudden injury crisis, of strikers also counts against the 32 year-old former Senegal international.

Diouf has more than 150 appearances to his name since signing on a free for Mark Hughes back in the summer of 2014.

But this season there has been no starts and just six sub appearances – and only one this calendar year.

His fans, those who have always admired his magnificent work-rate, look like having to make do with his late winner against Wigan back in November by way of a momento from his final year at the club.





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