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3 ways Stoke City can improve on disappointing 2021/22 campaign

Football League World logo Football League World 5 days ago Marcus Ally
Championship - Huddersfield Town v Stoke City © Provided by Football League World Championship - Huddersfield Town v Stoke City

Stoke City fell away from the promotion picture in a frustrating manner under Michael O’Neill this season with an injury crisis not helping matters.

The Potters are edging towards their fifth season since relegation from the Premier League and have tried a lot of different methods in the transfer market in aiming to return there.

O’Neill took over with relegation looking like a realistic possibility in 2019/20 and has had supporters believing in a promotion push at times since, it will be interesting to see what kind of backing he receives entering the final year of his contract next season.

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Here, we have taken a look at three ways Stoke can improve on their disappointing 2021/22 season…

Defensive leadership needed

Harry Souttar’s season-ending injury almost directly coincided with the Potters falling away from the top six, Stoke cannot afford a repeat of that next season.

Danny Batth and James Chester have left the club in the last six months, and their expertise will take some replacing.

Looking for some more experienced players could be advised.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis has been impressive since arriving on loan from Manchester City, re-signing the 20-year-old along with another centre back with greater second tier knowhow could tighten them up.

Especially if O’Neill sticks with a three at the back system.

Patience with the attacking contingent

Tyrese Campbell endured a frustrating 2021/22 season, unable to get back to his best after recovering from a long term injury.

Jacob Brown showed a lot of promise and has earned a new contract as a result.

Steven Fletcher is departing this summer at the end of his contract along with some other attacking players, but first choice replacements are not necessary.

With D’Margio Wright-Phillips coming through to offer competition for places, the Potters should stick with Brown and Campbell due to the potential of their partnership next season.

Creative contingent needs to be improved

Lewis Baker has been a revelation since arriving from Chelsea in the January transfer window, but he needs support and Sam Clucas and Jordan Thompson, for all they contribute, are not promotion pushing midfielders in the Championship.

Joe Allen could move on and therefore central midfield will become a particularly important area of recruitment, to ensure they do not suffer from Nick Powell being unavailable as much as in previous seasons.



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