Stoke City brought in ten new faces over the summer, utilizing both free signings and loan signings as they look to reach the play-offs this season.
Alex Neil and Stoke City are sitting comfortably in 13th place, just three points shy of the play-off places after a 0-0 draw with QPR last time out.
Although Neil only joined the Potters a few days before the end of the transfer window, he was still able to bring in one fresh face, in addition to those his predecessor Michael O’Neill brought to the Bet365 stadium.
Stoke made six loan signings, and here we discuss whether any of them have an option to buy and whether Stoke will decide to make their stays permanent…
Stoke signed Tarique Fosu, on a season-long loan, from Brentford in August. The Ghanaian winger has not registered a goal or an assist as of yet, however as the season progresses his experience in the division is sure to work in his favour.
There is nothing concrete in place regarding Fosu’s future – Brentford stated that they will ‘review his situation at the end of the season’. Brentford will be looking for Fosu to impress this season, and a successful campaign in the Championship could see Fosu back in contention with his parent club.
Will Smallbone joined Stoke early on in the summer transfer window, on loan from Premier League Southampton. The creative player has been a solid player for Stoke so far, it is the first time in his career that he has been a starter so he will be looking to get a positive first full season of football under this belt.
Smallbone already has 20 senior caps for the Saints and they are aware of his high potential so there is no future fee in this deal, or any option or obligation to buy on Stoke’s behalf.
AFC Bournemouth footballer Gavin Kilkenny also joined Stoke early on in the summer transfer window.
The player has struggled to pick up appearances and recently suffered a groin injury which will keep him out of action until after the international break. His loan with the Potters hasn’t gone exactly to plan, but Kilkenny will be hoping he can showcase his ability sooner rather than later.
A permanent move away from the Vitality is not currently on the table. Scott Parker looks to have loaned him out to gain regular first-team experience with him rejoining the Bournemouth squad next summer.
Liam Delap, son of Stoke City favorite and current first team coach Rory Delap, joined the Potters from reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.
Whilst Delap has been unable to find the net for Stoke thus far, it is only a matter of time before he starts scoring. Delap is hold in high regard by Manchester City and a permanent move away from the Etihad has never been on the table, which will be no surprise to the Stoke supporters.
Stoke City secured the loan singing of Chelsea right-back Dujon Sterling on deadline day. Sterling was the only player signed this summer by current manager Neil, he was brought in to provide cover on the right hand side of the defence. Sterling is yet to play a game for the Potters having arrived at the Staffordshire club still recovering from an injury picked up during preseason with Chelsea.
There is nothing official in place regarding a move away from Stamford Bridge, but with the emergence of Reece James in Sterling’s preferred right-back position, minutes at Chelsea will be hard to come by. This being his third successive loan to a championship club, it remains to be seen whether he will remain with the London club when his contracts expire next summer.
Like Sterling, Arsenal loanee Harry Clarke has had minimal playing time due to injury. He played twice for the Potters before he picked up a shin injury which has ruled him out of any further action, with no reported date for his return, it will be at least October before he pulls on a Stoke shirt again.
Alongside the five other loanees, there is no sign of any future fees when his loan finishes.
Stoke return to action against Watford next month.