Reports claim that Stoke City are hopeful of making Benik Afobe their first signing of the 2018 summer window. The Potters are expected to face resistance from Wolves, who have just confirmed the permanent signing of the 25-year-old from AFC Bournemouth.
Nuno Espirito Santo and his management team would not have dished out £12m on a whim for a player they are ready to trade away. Afobe has a more than decent record with the Wanderers, something he did not quite manage with the Cherries.
He would have been the ideal man to lead Stoke’s attack from the number nine position but City might have to look elsewhere at the moment. They have been relegated to the Championship after finishing dead last in the Premier League last season. This makes it difficult to keep all their high profile names, let alone attract new ones.
However, if they want to bounce back to the top-flight after just one season in the second division they will have to plan meticulously and make some squad improvements. The strike could certainly use some help and here are a few names they should strongly consider.
The 30-year-old played his final game for Aston Villa in the playoff final against Fulham last month. He is entering the final 12 months of his deal with Bournemouth and has poor odds of getting fielded under Eddie Howe. Grabban shifted around the Championship on a number of loan stints only because of his scarce involvement at Dean Court.
The forward found his shooting boots late into the 2017/18 campaign to help the Villans put up a real fight for promotion. He scored 4 times in the playoffs and 20 times in total last term.
Stoke should definitely consider bringing him in since he might just be available for cheap.
The Derby County forward netted the ball 22 times last season to help the Rams into the playoffs. Vydra has over 187 games worth of Championship experience and is entering the final two seasons of his contract.
Stoke need a proven goalscorer of the 26-year-old’s pedigree to break their woeful scoring form and lead the team back into the Premier League next campaign.
Barnsley have been relegated to the League One and the Welshman remains with 12 months still left on his contract. He could use a change of pace from the Oakwell and Stoke is the perfect escape for the 10-goal number nine.