Leeds United friendly confirmed
Stoke City have added another friendly to their pre-season plan as the countdown speeds up to the Championship kick-off.
Stoke played their second warm-up game of the month yesterday when they took on Burton Albion at the bet365 Stadium, having played Linfield in Belfast last week.
They take on Shrewsbury Town at Clayton Wood on Tuesday then have a Carabao Cup first-round tie against Blackpool next Saturday.
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Newly-promoted Leeds United have now been added to the plan, back at the training ground on Tuesday, September 1 before a friendly against Newcastle United on Saturday, September 5.
Stoke’s latest arrival is recruitment chief
City have made a key behind the scenes appointment by bringing in Alex Aldridge as new head of first-team recruitment.
Aldridge arrives after three years in a similar role at Millwall, who coincidentally Stoke will face at The Den on September 12, the opening day of the new season.
He has helped Gary Rowett beat competition to bring in highly-rated Spurs striker Troy Parrott on loan this summer – and the club’s transfer policy with a relatively small budget has been lauded in recent years.
The former journalist took the same Master of Sports Directorship course at Manchester Metropolitan University that Michael O’Neill would go on to study before becoming Stoke boss.
The pair will work closely together in a manager-focused model – with O’Neill retaining veto on any deals.
O’Neill provides injury update
Allen ruptured his Achillies tendon back in June and missed the final few games of the Potters Championship campaign.
While 21-year-old Verlinden suffered a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury that will see him sidelined for a number of months.
But any hope of an Allen return during the early weeks of the season has been put to bed by O’Neill as he confirmed that both will miss the plenty of the 2020-21 campaign.