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Stoke City’s aspiration of becoming a European force suffered a setback last season as Mark Hughes’ men, who were sniffing around a Europa League spot for previous few occasions, finished 13th and suffered a bottom-half league finish for the first time since the Welshman took charge back in summer 2013 replacing Tony Pulis.
The Potters witnessed vast improvement in their playing style under Hughes who replaced ‘Pulisball’ with passing as well as attacking football. They brought in significant names like Marko Arnautovic, Xherdan Shaqiri, Bojan Krkic, Marc Muniesa, Ibrahim Afellay and most recently, Dutchman Bruno Martins Indi, whose loan move last season is tipped to become permanent within a few days. Also, they have signed highly rated Chelsea centre-back Kurt Zouma on loan, promising Hull City left back Josh Tymon. Veteran midfielder Darren Fletcher has completed a Bosman transfer upon expiration of his contract with West Bromwich Albion.
Veteran midfielder Glenn Whelan has joined Championship outfit Aston Villa whereas Phil Bardsley and Jonathan Walters have completed a switch to league counterparts, Burnley. The gaffer, however, is not done with his business and expressed his desire to bring in Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph to bet365 Stadium for the upcoming Premier League campaign.
The 33-year old Darren Fletcher might be considered as a replacement for Glenn Whelan, but their central midfield still lacks quality and experience due to the ‘never-ending’ injury concerns of Stephen Ireland and Ibrahim Afellay, the inconsistency of Charlie Adam and the unimpressive Giannelli Imbula. Geoff Cameron has deputised in a makeshift defensive midfield role at times, but former Liverpool star Joe Allen seems to be the only midfielder who holds a long-term future ahead with the Staffordshire outfit.
Fabian Delph, the English international, thus is a relevant option who has been a fringe Manchester City resource following his dramatic switch from Aston Villa a couple of years back. He has appeared only 24 times in previous two league campaigns, most of which came as a substitute. Star-studded Manchester City are spending millions to challenge for the title and the Englishman’s opportunity to achieve a regular role is categorically improbable. At the age of 27, Delph must rethink his situation and grab the opportunity of playing regularly in order to challenge for a place in Three Lions’ 2018 FIFA World Cup squad.
But as per latest reports from Stoke Sentinel, the midfielder, despite early interests, is now reluctant to join the Potters and wants to wait for a little longer to decide his future. The player might aspire a move to any of the European outfits which seems to be extremely uncertain as most of them have already lined up their targets and do not fancy Delph for their respective outfits. Delph’s denial will be a massive blow in their hunt for the European football, but dismissing the possibility of regular minutes is an even bigger oversight for the decorated midfielder.
So he should rather try to change his mind and consider moving to Stoke City instead of staying put at Manchester City.
All details about the done deals were referred from Skysports.com.