Although the transfer window has only been open for five days, there is a sense of frustration in amongst the Stoke City fans at the moment.
They have seen their mid-table rivals, such as Crystal Palace strengthen considerably in the past week with the addition of Andros Townsend, and James Tomkins with Christian Benteke also heavily linked whilst it appears that Stoke have lost out on all three of their summer targets so far.
Axel Witsel looks to be on his way to Merseyside, whilst Stoke have been priced out of a move for Saido Berahino despite having agreed personal terms with the West Bromich Albion forward, and add in the mix of Nani moving to Valencia and you have yourself one set of agitated supporters.
Fear not though, Stoke fans. Here are five players who Mark Hughes could opt for this summer:
Rewind 12 months and this would have seemed one strange transfer rumour. Henderson had just taken over the captaincy at Liverpool from Steven Gerrard, with many Liverpool fan afar hoping that he would fill the boots of their beloved Stevie.
Things didn’t quite go to plan for Jordan Henderson however, as the man to give him the armband at Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers was sacked only two months into the season. Along with Rodgers’ sacking, Liverpool pounced to bring in Jurgen Klopp, who for one reason or another wasn’t Henderson’s greatest fan. A mixture of injuries and a dip in form saw Henderson regularly left out of the first team with Klopp opting for Lucas Leiva and Emre Can in the midfield instead.
Henderson only played 17 Premier League games last year for Liverpool, and his injury record is something Stoke may be put off with after their catastrophe injury hit season last campaign.
There is no doubting Henderson’s ability though, as he was a huge part of the Liverpool side that came within an inch of securing the Premier League title, and up until recently, was a shoe-in for the England national team.
He would give Hughes’ side a lot of energy in midfield next to presumably Giannelli Imbula and would be one of the most shrewdest additions of the whole window, and a real coup for Stoke City.
The rumour mill surrounding Henderson has heated up recently, as he was pictured in Stoke-on-Trent, Hanley to be more specific, visiting an Asian restaurant. It’s still unclear why Henderson felt the need to visit Hanley, but here’s hoping he was in town to hold talks with the Stoke City hierarchy.
Jordan Amavi is a player that has surprisingly not been linked with anyone yet this summer. Amavi was dealt a cruel hand last year (and not just by signing for Aston Villa) when he was injured in November, whilst playing for the French U21 national team.
Amavi is rightly loved by Aston Villa fans despite only playing a handful of times for them last year. However, Stoke looked to be struggling defensively last year, and with little or no competition for Erik Pieters, his performances towards the end of the campaign left much to be desired.
Having started the season in brilliant form, Pieters looked to be struggling at times being constantly exposed one on one, and offered very little going forward. A potential deal for Amavi would be a real eye-opener for Erik, and with no Premier League football next year, Amavi may be open to a move to the Bet 365 Stadium.
The man who dumped us out of the Capital One Cup semi-final. Mr. Allen has recently found himself much like his counterpart, Jordan Henderson froze out of the equation at Anfield.
The Welsh Xavi, as he’s known throughout football would cost Stoke City a fee of £16m, but in a world where Troy Deeney is valued higher than £30m, that figure seems minuscule.
Allen has impressed a host of potential suitors after a wonderful European Championships so far with Wales, where he has constantly bossed the midfield with his Pirlo-esque look and his admirable energy which has even led to him being linked with Inter Milan.
Again, like Henderson, you’d expect Allen to line up next to Giannelli Imbula as we start the season at the Riverside, should he opt to come to Stoke-on-Trent.
This was a rumour that strangely popped up last night, as football write Dave O’Connell [@DaveOCKOP] said that he believed that we were in for Edin Dzeko.
Dzeko is already Premier League proven, having already two Premier League medals to his name where he played a huge part in both of Manchester City’s title wining campaigns.
Currently plying his trade in Roma, Dzeko, 30, would be a marquee signing for Mark Hughes as you’d think with an injury-free season could easily obtain 15-20 Premier League goals.
I’m sure I don’t even need to give most Stokies a low-down of who this player is. Sobhi will have already been a household name in Stoke-on-Trent by the time this article goes out.
Based in Egypt, Sobhi is currently playing for Al Ahly (managed by former Spurs manager, Martin Jol) and if reports in Egypt are to be believed, we have agreed a deal to sign Sobhi for £6m with 15% future sell on fees.
However, until we see Sobhi confirmed by the club, he is still a potential target, and one of the most exciting on this list.
At only 19, Sobhi has already won the Egyptian Premier League twice, whist also picking up five international caps.
Sobhi has been praised throughout by his manager Martin Jol, who had this to say regarding him:”He’s one of the best players and young talents I’ve ever seen in England, in Germany, in Holland, in Spain,” Jol said in an interview on Nile Sports TV channel.
“I think he’s not ready yet because they don’t know him there, if people would know him, they would offer us 15 or 20 million euros not the peanuts [they’re offering],” he added.
Potential Stoke City XI: Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Amavi; Henderson, Imbula; Shaqiri, Bojan, Sobhi; Dzeko.