Stoke City line-up fitting in Tom Ince
Ince is the fifth arrival of this summer for Stoke as they try to build a squad capable of bouncing straight back to the Premier League. Gary Rowett has already added winger James McClean, striker Benik Afobe, midfielder Peter Etebo and goalkeeper Adam Federici.
Here’s how Stoke might line up next season with Tom Ince in the side.
Manager: Gary Rowett
Adam Federici (GK)
If Jack Butland leaves, Stoke City’s summer recruit Adam Federici will be No.1 in goal.
Moritz Bauer (RB)
Bauer joined Stoke in January and despite the club’s relegation from the Premier League, he has signed a new contract which will keep him at the club until 2023. He is naturally a full-back who is equally adept at undertaking his defensive responsibilities and also driving forward with the ball.
Ryan Shawcross (CB)
The leader of the defence, Shawcross has been a reliable performer for Stoke down the years. Now in the Championship, the defender will have a crucial role to play to guide the club back to where it actually belongs.
Bruno Martins Indi (CB)
Partnering Shawcross in central defence will be Bruno Martins Indi. The Dutch international will need to step up and perform consistently if Stoke are aiming to win the Championship title.
Erik Pieters (LB)
A regular fixture last season, Pieters is an attacking left-back who loves to make forward runs and offer an attacking outlet from the left. Defensively, he has been caught out of position several times but overall, he is a decent player to have in the lineup.
Peter Etebo (CM)
A summer recruit from CD Feirense, Etebo impressed in the World Cup with his displays for Nigeria. Etebo is a central midfielder with an eye for goal and keeps the ability to deliver the goods in the final third.
Joe Allen (CM)
Stoke received a much-needed boost when Joe Allen signed a new deal to remain at the club following relegation. An industrious midfielder with a good range of passing, Allen will be expected to dish out impressive performances week in and week out in the Championship.
James McClean (LW)
Signed from West Brom this summer, James McClean would bring an abundance of pace and directness to Stoke’s attack. His final product can be frustrating but he is a tireless worker and would suit Rowett’s pressing style of play.
Tom Ince (RW)
Ince and Rowett have worked together at Derby before the former left for Huddersfield last term. A pacey, industrious and agile winger, Ince would bring a certain level of zest to the team and could fill the void left by Xherdan Shaqiri.
Mame Biram Diouf (SS)
When Diouf is in the mood, he can be very frightening for defences. He is very scary when he runs at defences.
Benik Afobe (ST)
Afobe is a proven goal scorer in the Championship and he will be the one to lead Stoke’s attack next season. The former Arsenal man possesses pace, power and strength combined with good technical ability and clever movement that makes him a constant threat for defenders.