Why James McClean would be a solid addition for Stoke City
The Republic of Ireland international is set to be fined after failing to join Albion’s training camp in Scotland. The Baggies are aware of Stoke’s interest and are demanding £6million for McClean, which the Potters are refusing to pay.
McClean, 29, is entering the final year of his contract at the Hawthorns and the 29-year-old has failed to secure a regular starting berth during his stint at the club. He made 30 appearances last season, scoring a solitary goal as West Brom finished at the bottom of the Premier League table.
So far, Stoke have made a couple of good signings but one area where the Potters desperately need reinforcement is their attack, despite the club acquiring the services of Benik Afobe. New manager Gary Rowett has moved quickly to overhaul the current squad of players, with Joe Allen’s contract extension providing a boost to the club in their pursuit of Premier League promotion next season.
It appears that Rowett has now turned his attention towards McClean as he looks to add further quality to the wide areas. Ramadan Sobhi joined Huddersfield Town last month while Xherdan Shaqiri has confirmed that he intends to stay in England but play for a Premier League outfit in the upcoming season.
That leaves Rowett with just one recognised winger in the form of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who started brightly at Stoke but faded as the season went on. So a move for McClean makes complete sense for Stoke this summer.
Rowett was keen on bringing McClean to Derby County when he was in charge of the club last season but somehow a move didn’t materialise in January. Now, there is a golden opportunity for him to bring his man to Stoke and the duo could work wonders in the 2018/19 campaign.
McClean has been a solid player for the Baggies since joining the club back in 2015 from Wigan Athletic. He may not score a lot of goals or register assists but the 29-year-old is a workhorse and doesn’t know to give less than 100% on the pitch.
While McClean’s end product can be frustrating at times, there is no questioning his abundance of experience in both Premier League and international football, as he’s made over 100 appearances for West Bromwich Albion and 59 appearances for the Republic of Ireland. This could prove to be extremely handy in the Championship.
At 29, McClean isn’t going to improve much but his current set of qualities look tailor-made for the highly demanding world of Championship football. Along with his direct approach and raw pace, Rowett would be getting an experienced head in his team.
At £6million, McClean may not be the high-profile winger that is currently available in the market but he would certainly be a positive addition to Rowett’s new-look team that is looking to mount a promotion challenge.