Stoke City’s £80m loanees, injured XI and walking wounded in Michael O’Neill’s alternate universe


Michael O’Neill could look down at the players on his book at Stoke City at the moment and pick three teams on paper.

He could name an expensively assembled XI out of senior players who are currently out on loan, he could name a decent-looking Championship side that is currently in the treatment room and then an XI of those left standing.

These three teams put into context that challenges that this season have put on Stoke, mostly of their own making due to the recruitment that led to relegation and the fluffed bid to get back at the first attempt.

The injured XI

Angus Gunn: Back at parent club Southampton for treatment on a swollen foot related to an old fracture.

Gunn, Stoke and Southampton have unofficially agreed a loan until the end of next season but there is a ‘break clause’ and it remains to be seen how the three parties will proceed – and whether Gunn can be sure of the game time he wants and needs at the bet365. Latest update here.

Nathan Collins: Recovering from broken bones under his toes and is hoping to be fit for pre-season. Latest update from Michael O’Neill.

James Chester: Due to have a minor operation to clear up knee injury ready for next season. Latest update here.

Morgan Fox: Has suffered serious back-to-back hamstring injuries in either leg that have limited him to just three appearances since Christmas.

Joe Allen: Recovered from Achilles tendon rupture but suffered hamstring and calf strain on international duty. Should be fine for Wales in the European Championships. Latest update here.


Video Loading

Video Unavailable

Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Suffered a back fracture that requires rest to make sure he is good to go next term.

Jack Clarke: Returned to Spurs for treatment on ankle ligament damage. Latest update here.

Nick Powell: Back from Achilles injury to start against QPR at the weekend but soon limped off with groin problem. Latest update here.

James McClean: Has complained about degenerative foot injury since last summer but was near fitness when he went on international duty against club club advice and aggravated problem.

Tyrese Campbell: Suffered complex cartilage injury in December. Has started to put weight through the joint after coming through a difficult first five months. Latest update here.

Alfie Doughty: Was recovering from hamstring injury when Stoke swooped to sign him from Charlton in January. Had been hoping to be fit before end of season but a foot problem proved a set back. Should be all guns blazing in the summer.



Players currently in Stoke City’s treatment room.

Senior players loan XI

Joe Bursik:Helped Peterborough win promotion to the Championship at the weekend after joining on emergency deal.

Kevin Wimmer: Has featured at left-back for Kalrsruher in Bundesliga 2 and he is keen to sort something out so he doesn’t have to return in pre-season to Stoke, where £15m signing spent the first half of this season with the under-23s.

Liam Lindsay: The £2m summer of 2019 signing has helped Preston nudge up into mid-table.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Lindsay told Lancs Live after the weekend’s 1-0 win over Coventry. “I’m honestly not sure, I just leave that to the agents and we’ll see in the summer.

“But from as soon as I stepped into the building, the staff, players, everyone has been brilliant to me and I’d call it a successful loan.

“Obviously it’s not done yet, there are two games left, but so far, so good.

“Exactly (it’s what I needed), I just had to go out, play games and get the confidence back and game-by-game I feel like that’s happening.

“I also wanted to help the team and win games, that was the plan and it’s going well.”

Bruno Martins Indi: The 29-year-old defender has one further season left on his contract at Stoke – having joined for £7m in 2017 – but made it clear that he wanted to play at a higher level and joined AZ Alkmaar on loan in October.

He has done well, helping his new side challenge at the right end of the Eredivisie. Read more, here.

Moritz Bauer: Right wing-back – a £6m signing from Rubin Kazan in 2018 – has broken into the team at FC Ufa, who are fighting to stay up in the Russian Premier League.

Badou Ndiaye: Joined Stoke for £14m in January 2018 but has spent most of the time since out on loan. Now aged 30, he made the mid-season shuffle from mid-table in Turkey to bottom of the table in Saudi Arabia, where Al Ain have been struggling for points.

Ryan Woods: The £7m midfielder has been with Millwall on loan since the middle of last season – but admits a third loan ‘might be difficult’.

“If I’m not going to play for Stoke next season then a permanent move is better for everyone. Since my Brentford days I haven’t really had a home that feels permanent,” he said in an honest interview with South London Press.

“I had a year and a half at Stoke but after the gaffer [Rowett] left it was ups and down. It was quite difficult for me to settle there.

“I’m really looking forward to finding a permanent home, getting comfortable and hopefully getting back to the Ryan Woods that I want to be, and know I can be.

“The move to Millwall has been everything I hoped it would be. I saw a funny stat the other day that I have played more minutes than any other Stoke player this season.

“I’ve just really enjoyed playing football again on a regular basis. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do – to play two or three times a week. I’m happy that I managed to achieve that.”

Stoke-on-Trent Live has launched a new commenting system, with the aim of generating better conversations and improving everyone’s experience of visiting the website.

How can I get involved?
Log on via the interface in the top right-hand corner of the website with your name and email address. Once you verify your email account, you’re good to go.

What type of comments are you looking for?
We want balanced and fair comments that are relevant to the story they are written on. We also encourage you to respond to other comments, as long as you do so respectfully.
We’ll be switching on a follow button, so if you’re interested in one particular story, you’ll get an email to your account whenever anyone says something new.
Constructive feedback on articles is also welcomed.

Peter Etebo: The £6.3m midfielder, lined up before Gary Rowett was appointed in the summer of 2018, been a more regular fixture in the Galatasaray midfield in the second half of the season after early struggles with niggling injuries.

Tom Ince: Signed by Rowett for £10m in 2018. Season over early due to ankle ligament damage.

“It’s really sad as Tom’s been excellent for us,” Nathan Jones told Luton Today.

“We knew he needed a bit of time to gather pace, but the way he’s been around the place, the way he’s integrated, he’s had a massive impact.”

Lee Gregory: Suffered a season-ending groin injury after scoring three times in six starts and five sub appearances for Derby.

Wayne Rooney told DerbyshireLive: “It is a blow because he was in good form. We will miss him.”

They have, losing all six games since he limped out.

Signed by Nathan Jones for Stoke as a free agent commanding a good deal in the summer of 2019 after leaving Millwall.

Benik Afobe: The 28-year-old £12m signing has two years left on his deal at Stoke after scoring four times in 10 starts and 17 sub appearances at Trabzonspor.



Senior players currently out on loan from Stoke City.

Possible XI v Bournemouth

Michael O’Neill has 13 senior players left standing, including a couple who are playing through the pain barrier as 14th-placed Stoke head to Bournemouth knowing they can finish as high as 13th and low as 15th.

Jacob Brown and Sam Vokes, who both came off the bench against QPR last weekend, are added to this XI and a youthful group of substitutes from the under-23s.



A possible Stoke City starting XI against Bournemouth.





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *