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The idea of playing a 3-4-3 system looked like a really smart move from Mark Hughes as it earned him two results against the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United earlier in the season.
However, things didn’t really continue in the same way as Stoke only managed to pick up 7 points since their 2-2 draw at home to Manchester United. But the Potters are slowly beginning to find their rhythm after the win over Watford last month and a near victory over Leicester City.
Mark Hughes has been force-fitting some of his players into positions they are not suitable for and it is high time the Welshman addressed some those issues in his squad. The Potters have been underwhelming in front of goal with just 13 goals in 11 games so far this season.
The fact that the 36-year-old Peter Crouch is their highest goal scorer this season shows how badly Stoke need to bring in some attacking quality in January. It’s not just the striking positions but also the wings need reinforcements for Mark Hughes’ side.
So here’s a look at three such players who could be valuable signings for Stoke City in the upcoming January transfer window.
The 28-year-old Arsenal forward has spent more than a decade at the London club which has also seen him develop into one of England’s finest footballing talents. But the time has come for the England international to move away from his boyhood club and look for a new challenge.
Stoke could definitely use the services of the 28-year-old this season as he would bring precision in front of goal and also some experience, having played in the League since his teenage. He is also versatile and can play as a winger and also as a centre-forward.
Walcott had a brilliant campaign last season with 19 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions. With regular starts under Mark Hughes, Walcott can really help the Potters challenge for European football.
The Liverpool FC striker looked like a superstar in the making when he arrived at the club in 2015 but after a brilliant start to his Anfield career, Ings had to endure a torrid spell of injuries that almost cost him his career.
However, the hard-working Englishman has worked his socks off over the last couple of seasons and now looks like a player who could even challenge for the first-team spot at Liverpool. The England international has been regularly featuring for the Liverpool U-23’s side and has been amongst the goals on regular occasions. In fact, Ings scored 4 goals against Bristol City last week.
Stoke should really consider bringing in the England striker before Jurgen Klopp realises how useful he can be in his own squad.
Another one of Arsenal’s youth talents, Jack Wilshere was prophesied to become a world-class player when he initially made his senior debut under Arsene Wenger. But recurring injuries along with bad luck has made the 25-year-old a forgotten star.
His season-long loan at Bournemouth was a bit of a comeback for the England international but despite all his efforts to get the attention of Arsene Wenger, the French manager has kept him away from the first-team this season.
Wilshere’s contract is set to expire in June next year and Arsenal might as well sell the player in January to avoid losing the player on a free transfer. Maybe Wilshere can achieve his full potential with regular starts at Stoke instead of warming the bench at the Emirates.