Friday, January 27, 2023

Stoke City Want This Premier League Defensive Ace: Should 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, Tottenham Hotspur’s want away defender Kevin Wimmer has Stoke City as a possible destination although a lot hinges on Spurs’ ability to land Davinson Sanchez from AFC Ajax. The Austrian international doesn’t see himself in manager Mauricio Pochettino’s plans and is seeking a way out as fast as possible.

Stoke City have had a decent summer so far with Mark Hughes getting in Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma on loan and finally managing to land Bruno Martins Indi from FC Porto after long-drawn talks. However, Hughes’ backline could hardly make any impact on the opening day of the season as the Potters lost to Everton 1-0.

Though they were without the Dutch enforcer in the back-three set-up, in the likes of Geoff Cameron and Ryan Shawcross, Hughes still had huge chunks of experience in his back line that should have stopped Everton. The further addition of Kevin Wimmer would definitely make them a force to reckon with but Hughes is likely to face stiff competition from Southampton and Crystal Palace after West Ham were out of the race.

Croatian manager Slaven Bilic had wanted to play Wimmer as a left back that the Austrian refused at the first go. Speaking of his transfer situation, Wimmer said, “I’d rather play in the centre… The interest from Southampton was not really concrete… I would like to stay in Premier League because there are other possibilities.”

The indication is clear and Stoke City might just be able to edge past Crystal Palace in the race for Wimmer given the experience and stature of Hughes in England. Although he has been a failure at White Hart Lane, it is unclear how much he would have improved if given regular chances. Wimmer does have the physical traits to cope with rigours of the Premier League and would be an ideal fit for Stoke’s style of play.

Born in Wales, the 187m defender could be a good partner alongside the likes of Bruno Martins Indi and Shawcross. Wimmer, being left sided, could be a huge advantage too. Stoke City are known to be extremely strong in aerial duels. Competing with the likes of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld has definitely been a mammoth task for someone who has failed to settle in England properly.

According to Wimmer’s agent Jurgen Werner, the player has also garnered interest from Bundesliga and Serie A, but his price of £20 million could keep them at bay. However, at 24 he has a lot of time on hands and could be a long-term solution for Stoke.

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