Last Game: Friendly Match
Next Game: Friendly Match
Welcome to TEAMtalk's Stoke City Your Say forum - the place to be for positive Potters!
We are barely into June, yet Mark Hughes has surely already completed the vast majority of his transfer business for the summer.
It is rare that a manager sees exactly what the fans see, too, but Hughes' decision-making throughout is reign has been consistently difficult to disagree with.
Most fans would have said that signing a new striker and right-back were the biggest priorities, and Hughes has already done that, adding two almost certain starters in Mame Biram Diouf and Phil Bardsley without spending a penny.
The signing of Steve Sidwell is a little harder to explain - he's certainly not better than Steven N'Zonzi, and it's questionable whether he's as good as Glenn Whelan in the holding role - but he will offer significantly more of a challenge for a place than Wilson Palacios ever managed.
The fourth player to sign, meanwhile, Dionatan Teixeira, is unbeknown to most of us but is certainly the sort of player - a young centre-half said to be good on the ball - that most of us have hoped to see added to the squad. After all, with Ryan Shawcross, Robert Huth, Marc Wilson and Marc Muniesa already at the club, we certainly didn't need to spend big money on a defender immediately ready for the first team.
With only Marko Arnautovic, Peter Odemwingie and Jon Walters the only feasible wide options currently at the club, that is arguably the one remaining area in which Hughes needs to strengthen - but talks have already been held with Liverpool over Oussama Assaidi, while Emmanuel Riviere and more recently Diego Capel are also seemingly on the radar. Again it seems as though we can trust Hughes to sign the sort of player that is needed.
That we will begin pre-season with our squad already largely in place can only be an advantage going into the new season - and with Hughes' work now largely done, it is now up to those behind the scenes to do their best to trim the fat from the squad.
So long as the likes of Asmir Begovic and Ryan Shawcross don't join those heading out of the Britannia exit door this summer, the 2014-15 season is already shaping up to be a hugely exciting one.
toffee (): "BREAKING NEWS: Liverpool have pulled out of signing Loic Remy after realizing he wasn't a Southampton..."
theawl (): "Getting a bit sick of Premier League teams losing their top talents to foreign teams. How could they..."
|1.||Roy's Rio rhythm needs a Mersey beat|
|2.||Courtois in, Cech out at Chelsea?|
|3.||January opportunity for Prem strugglers|
|4.||Regional Paper Talk: Duo in for Kagawa|
|5.||Thompson: Suarez hard to forgive|