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Stoke City announced a deal for Galatasaray midfielder Badou Ndiaye in the dying minutes of the January window. The Potters have signed him on a four-and-a-half-year deal for £14m, making him the second most expensive player in the club’s history. Paul Lambert has managed to do some good business in the recently concluded transfer window by also snapping up deals for Moritz Bauer and Kostas Stafylidis.
Now, it is no secret that the club are in dire need of reinforcements who can truly push and inspire them to put up better performances. After spending a good majority of the season in the relegation battle, they eventually sacked Mark Hughes and brought in Paul Lambert as the new manager. Ever since he took charge, the club has managed to climb up to 16th spot but they are still treading dangerously close to the drop zone.
The midfield has been one of Stoke’s problem areas for quite some time and to that end, signing a promising player like Ndiaye does seem like a massive step in the right direction. He is quite a hard worker, having risen through a lot of adversities in his personal life. The player is versatile and extremely quick with the ball at his feet. He can effectively link the attack with the defence and he will be crucial to bringing a sense of calmness to an otherwise chaotic Stoke midfield.
As of now, Darren Fletcher and Joe Allen have held up the fort in the middle of the park for Stoke but with the inclusion of a player as supremely talented as Ndiaye, it will be interesting to see how they fare in their upcoming matches. The best part is that the Senegalese midfielder is quite adept at shielding the defence.
More often than not, the club’s defenders have been brutally exposed against opponents but with a player like Ndiaye in the ranks, they can hope to rectify those errors and minimise the gaps.
That said, one might also argue that the player might take time to adjust and settle into life in the Premier League. While that is a valid argument, Lambert would be aware of the repercussions. He is definitely experienced enough to have good judgement and there is absolutely no doubting Ndiaye’s skills. So while it might seem like a gamble, it is one that Stoke needed to take. It could very well pay off.