Sunday, May 22, 2022

Stoke City Eyeing A Move For This English Speedster: Can Hughes Get This Done?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

According to reports, Stoke City are now eyeing a move for Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend as the Potters eye a replacement for the departed Marko Arnautovic on the flanks. Townsend had a quiet season in the Premier League last campaign before Sam Allardyce took charge of things. Under big Sam, Townsend looked to get back his lost form that had led Palace to get him from Newcastle United in the first place.

Mark Hughes has very little time to get in the potential replacement for the Austrian international and with Premier League scheduled to start in a week, he is eyeing a Premier League player who won’t need time adapting to the style of play in England.

Stoke had a nightmarish season in the Premier League last term where they were by far the most average side throughout the whole year in terms of results. They finished in the 13th position with just 44 points from 38 games despite having some of the most experienced players in the squad.

Having the likes of Joe Allen, Xherdan Shaqiri, Peter Crouch, Saido Berahino, Arnautovic and more, it was really poor that the Potters could score a meagre 41 goals; lesser than the likes of Bournemouth, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City, who had far weaker attacking strength.

Hughes has failed to bring in any forward this summer with most of his buys beefing up his defence following the departure of Brun Martins Indi. Townsend could well be his last arrival this summer and perhaps the most crucial one. The 26-year-old has shown his abilities only occasionally so far and is waiting for the perfect manager to unleash his complete potential.

An academy product of North London side Tottenham Hotspur, the Walthamstow boy had to find his way up through numerous loan stints with the lower tier clubs. Since breaking into the senior squad in 2008, Townsend was sent on loan to Yeovil Town, followed by Leyton Orient, MK Dons, Ipswich Town, Watford, Millwall, Leeds United, Birmingham City and Queens Park Rangers before Newcastle United in summer 2016.

He played only 13 times for the Mags, scoring four goals and assisting twice. His rift with Alan Pardew in Palace saw him mostly as a bench player where he managed to score three goals and assists six times. New manager Frank De Boer has used him as a wingback in the pre-season games and he is yet to be seen in his actual position next season.

Reportedly, Stoke City are willing to pay £15m for the player, who had cost the Eagles £12 million a year ago.

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