Stoke City linked again with striker Ross Stewart



Stoke City are being linked again with Ross County striker Ross Stewart.

City were reportedly interested in the 23 year old target man back in December. Now that link has reappeared as The Daily Record says Hibs have opened talks about the 23 year old target man – and reckons he is ‘on the radar’ of Aberdeen and Stoke, Middlesbrough and Blackburn.

However, Edinburgh Live reckon he’s not Hibs’ top target.

The striker is just the latest Scottish player to be linked with Stoke after manager Michael O’Neill said he believed there was value for money to be had north of the border.

He scored 11 goals in 26 appearances for the Scottish Premiership club before the season was cut short.

Speaking back in December, the Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson said he wasn’t surprised there was interest in the former Albion Rovers, St Mirren and Alloa Athletic striker.

He told the BBC: “I would imagine he has been flagged up to a lot of clubs bigger than us.

“He stands at 6ft 3 or 4inches, he’s very comfortable on the ball and can run like the wind. And when you’re scoring the goals that Ross has, you’re going to have people interested in him.”

In an interview with the Sentinel and StokeonTrentLive back at the start of April, O’Neill explained why he feels the Scottish game could be a source of players for Stoke.

He said: “The problem people have with Scottish football is that they probably watch it on television and at times it doesn’t look like a great spectacle because at certain games the stadium is a little bit empty, while the other thing is you see games on artificial pitches.

“It’s about assessing the level of play and then try to benchmark whether those players could step up and play in the Championship.

“There’s players there that have clearly done that, the likes of John McGinn (Aston Villa) and Kenny McClean who went to Norwich, and both of them got promoted with their teams and were very important players to their teams.

“So it’s about trying to find that level of player.”

He says younger Scottish players would cross the border with an appetite he finds tasty.

“The attraction of the market is that players from Scotland going down to England see it as a massive opportunity.” he continued.

“It’s a much bigger league and obviously financially it’s far more rewarding.

“Typically, you’ll get a player with a good attitude who’s hungry to succeed.

“The other thing about the Scottish Premier League is that there’s a lot of young players.

“You can come up here and find 21 year-olds who’ve played a hundred games and that’s quite hard to find in English football, certainly in the Championship and Premier League level.

“What’s happening up here, as a result of the financial struggle, is that clubs have to develop their own players and that means at every club, typically, there’s young players getting the opportunity to play first-team football.





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