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Stoke City

Garry Rowett should put faith in Tyrese Campbell ahead of Stoke’s promotion push

Josh Kerr



Photo: Getty Images

According to BBC Sport, Stoke City manager Gary Rowett is interested in signing striker Benik Afobe from Wolves.

The deal would seem an unlikely transfer as the former Arsenal prospect completed his permanent move to Molineux just days ago.

Instead of breaking the bank for a new number 9, the 44-year-old manager should seriously consider what is already in front of him and hand young Tyrese Campbell the chance to prove himself.

The 18-year-old striker featured four-times for Paul Lambert’s side towards the end of last season after impressing in Premier League 2, and the teenager deserves his chance with the senior team.

Son of former Everton striker Kevin Campbell, Tyrese is a goalscoring fanatic with a bright future in the game following his move to Stoke from Manchester City in 2016.

Despite scoring 49 goals at under-16 level for the Citizens, Campbell felt his opportunities were slim and opted to move to the Midlands to heighten his chances of making it in the professional game.

At 18 years of age and with a famous name already on his back, Campbell is already a player Potters fans will be fully aware of and, considering the club’s drop to the Championship, they may need a fresh face to lead the forward line next year.

Rowett only needs to look to the success of Bristol City, who put their faith in an 18-year-old Tammy Abraham in 2016. The Chelsea prospect would go on score 23 league goals in a truly defining season.

Stoke should consider doing the same with Campbell having witnessed the teenager’s hunger for goals. He us aware in the box, lightning quick, has an excellent left foot and is threatening in the air.

Rowett’s faith in Tyrese could also save the club millions with the youngster hopeful of emulating his father, who enjoyed a widespread Premier League career at both Arsenal and Everton during his glory days.

Campbell will be eager to play a serious role in Stoke’s season next campaign and considering his young age and hunger, he could be the perfect man to find the goals to fire Stoke back to the Premier League next season.

I am a freelance sports journalist currently studying sports journalism at Staffordshire University with a passion for all things football. I'm a keen supporter of Liverpool Football Club, as well as my local side Forest Green Rovers. I've worked for online newspaper VAVEL UK as well as a media assistant for Chester FC in the Vanarama National League.

Stoke City

Gary Rowett opens the door for Robert Huth’s return to Stoke

Martyn Cooke



Robert Huth
Photo: Getty Images

Stoke City boss Gary Rowett has opened the door for Robert Huth to return to the club on a permanent basis as the central defender continues to train with the first team squad as he attempts to regain his fitness.

The German was released by Leicester City at the end of last season following a hugely successful three-year stint at the King Power Stadium which included their historic Premier League title triumph in 2016.

Subsequently, he approached Stoke at the start of the summer and has been allowed to train with Rowett’s squad whilst he looks for a new club.

Huth remains a popular figure at the Bet365 Stadium having made over 150 appearances for The Potters over the period of half-a-decade following a £5 million transfer from Middlesbrough in 2009.

The 33-year-old formed a dominant central defensive partnership with Ryan Shawcross that provided the solid foundation on which the club’s modern success was built.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The notion of Huth re-signing for Stoke is a romantic concept, one that many Stoke supporters will be keen to see, and Rowett told the Stoke Sentinel that the door is still open for the German defender.

“He’s coming to train. We’ll see how it is for both parties and we’ll assess it as we go along … We’ll try to help him and that’s where we are at the moment. I don’t think there’s any real rush to make a decision.”

“There’s no strings attached for either party but come in and train, we’ll get you involved – we’re a little bit short in terms of numbers in that area anyway.”

Stoke are currently short of central defensive options following the departures of Kevin Wimmer (on loan to Hannover 96), Marc Muniesa (who has signed for Girona) and Kurt Zouma (who returned to Chelsea following the conclusion of his loan spell) as the club adapts to life outside the Premier League.

With that in mind, Huth’s availability as a free agent and his pre-existing standing within the club makes him an attractive option as Rowett continues to re-mould his squad in preparation for the new season. He has already featured heavily in Stoke’s early pre-season activities and fixtures whilst he is also likely to be joining the club on their tour of Germany.

However, Rowett is right to be cautious about signing the German defender.

Huth did not make a single appearance for Leicester last season as he struggled with a string of injuries and fell considerably down the pecking order at the King Power Stadium whilst, at 33 years of age, he is stepping into the twilight of his career.

Could he realistically adapt to the physical demands of the Championship where there is a requirement to play two matches most weeks as part of a demanding fixture schedule?

Furthermore, Stoke should be looking to the future rather than attempting to recreate previous glories.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Whilst Huth remains a legend in the eyes of supporters he would only provide a short-term solution and will undoubtedly return as a very different player than the one that last played at the Bet365 Stadium in 2015.

Rowett is quite rightly looking to bring in a new generation of young, fresh and hungry talent which will be led by new signing Oghenekaro Etebo, Nigeria’s 21-year-old World Cup star. Does Huth fit within those parameters? Probably not.

Whilst Huth’s return may be a somewhat romantic notion that would certain provide a short-term solution to the club’s lack of defensive cover, on a practical level which looks at the long-term in would leave much to be desired.

Ultimately, much may depend, as it so often does in football, on money.

Stoke have already made significant moves in the transfer market following the arrivals of Etebo and Benik Afobe whilst they have been linked with a string of other big-money signings.

Without the safety net of Premier League TV revenue the signing of Huth on a free transfer could allow Rowett to focus his investment on strengthening other areas of the team.

So the door is certainly open for Huth to return on a permanent basis, although Rowett will need to decide whether his focus is on the short-term or long-term future of the club.

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Stoke City

Do Stoke City have the Championship’s best full-back in Moritz Bauer?

The Austrian signed a new deal at the Bet365 Stadium earlier this month.

Martyn Cooke



Photo: Getty Images

The Bet365 Stadium has been a hive of activity over the summer so far as Stoke City prepare for life outside the top-flight for the first time in a decade.

The Potters were relegated from the Premier League in May but the club have been quick to begin to address some of the issues, mistakes and frailties that underpinned their failures last season and, arguably, can be traced back throughout the previous twenty-four months.

Gary Rowett was appointed as manager at the start of the summer and his arrival was seen as something of a coup after Stoke were able to persuade the 44-year-old to leave Championship rivals Derby County.

He moved quickly to secure the impressive signings of Benik Afobe and Nigeria’s World Cup star Oghenekaro Etebo whilst Joe Allen was also convinced to sign a new contract that saw him pledge his long-term future to the club.

All of these events have been widely discussed but something that many media outlets failed to highlight was that Stoke have also been able to sign the best fullback in the Championship.

It was announced at the start of July that Moritz Bauer had signed a new long-term deal that will see him remain at the Bet365 Stadium until 2023.

The Austrian defender may not be the most instantly recognisable name in English football yet Stoke supporters will be quick to highlight the considerable impact that he has made at the club since arriving in January.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The 26-year-old was signed from Ruben Kazan for an undisclosed fee six months ago and he produced a string of hugely impressive performances as he cemented his place in the starting eleven.

In what was a disappointing season that ultimately ended in relegation, Bauer was one of the few bright sparks that supporters could take some heart from.

He made 15 appearances in total with his energy, enthusiasm and pace enabling him to easily make the transition into a prominent performer in the Premier League.

Bauer is naturally a full-back and he proved to be equally adept at undertaking his defensive responsibilities as he was driving forward with the ball or making overlapping runs into the opposition half.

He ended the campaign being used as a winger as Paul Lambert struggled to find a solution to the team’s woes on the pitch but he undoubtedly applied himself to the best of his ability.

Immediately following relegation the Austrian publicly announced that he would be happy to remain at the Bet365 Stadium and it is refreshing to see a player showing a degree of loyalty to a club that he had only recently joined.

The fact that he signed a new contract at the start of the month confirmed that he was a man of his word and leaves Stoke having signed what will be the best attacking fullback that you are likely to see in the Championship this year.

(Photo  by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Bauer’s natural athleticism combined with his technical ability will make him a force to be reckoned with in the second tier and, if used as a fullback, his overlapping runs will add another string to Stoke’s attacking repertoire.

If supporters thought that he had adapted well to life in the Premier League then they will be licking their lips at the prospect of him being unleashed in the Championship.

The 26-year-old’s new contract has continued to add to the feel-good factor surrounding the Bet365 Stadium during the summer and there is a real sense of positivity around the club.

Rowett’s side are among the favourites for promotion and his activities so far as manager, both in terms of new arrivals and persuading key squad members to stay, clearly demonstrates his intentions.

Bauer possesses all of the attributes to be a star for Stoke in the Championship and he will be a key feature in the team are to immediately bounce back into the Premier League.

The best attacking fullback in the Championship? We will have to wait and see.

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Stoke City

Peter Crouch has ‘unfinished business’ with Stoke, remains the perfect ‘plan B’

The 37-year-old feels he still has plenty to offer for Stoke.

Martyn Cooke



Photo: Getty Images

Peter Crouch has become the latest Stoke City player to publicly reveal that he is prepared to remain at the Bet365 Stadium as the club targets an instant return to the Premier League following relegation in May.

The former England international was among a deluge of high profile names that were expected to depart during the summer after The Potters dropped into the Championship following a decade-long spell in the top flight.

However, the 37-year-old says that he has “unfinished business” and is open to the possibility of helping Stoke to launch a promotion challenge in the forthcoming season.

Crouch, who arrived at the Bet365 Stadium in the summer of 2011 for £12 million from Tottenham Hotspur, has racked up over 50 goals for The Potters in all competitions and told Planet Football that he was happy to add to that tally in The Championship.

“I feel like there is unfinished business for me at Stoke,” the iconic striker explained.

“I’d have no problem playing in the Championship next season and trying to get the club back into the Premier League at the first attempt … hopefully, I am one of those who get the chance to get Stoke back where they belong.”

The news is likely to come as a further boost for new Potters boss Gary Rowett, who has already convinced Joe Allen and Moritz Bauer to sign new long-term deals with the club since he was appointed in late-May.

The former Derby County manager faces the unenviable task of building a squad capable of challenging for automatic promotion and his ability to persuade key players to commit their future had been hugely impressive.

Crouch remains a hugely popular figure among Stoke supporters and he remains a dangerous prospect for opposition defences despite his advancing age.

The 37-year-old’s height and aerial prowess poses a unique challenge for opponents and has proven to be a remarkably effective weapon during a career that has seen him score over 100 top fight goals.

There is little doubt that he would be a considerable threat in the Championship although how central he would be to Rowett’s plans remains unclear.

Stoke have already boosted their forward line by signing Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Benik Afobe on loan whilst the likes of Mame Biram Diouf, Saido Berahino and youngster Tyrese Campbell currently remain on the club’s books.

It is unlikely that Crouch would be considered by many supporters to be a prime candidate for featuring regularly in the starting eleven next season, although that does not reduce his value as a squad player.

His lack of mobility remains a central issue, especially when operating as a lone striker, whilst his height often results in the team naturally looking to be more direct in their play.

However, the former England international remains the perfect ‘Plan B’ for Stoke.

If The Potters find themselves trailing with twenty minutes of a game remaining, then who better to throw into the mix than Crouch? Furthermore, if Rowett identifies that an opposition team struggles to deal with aerial balls, then who better to call upon than Crouch?

The striker is renowned for his aerial ability, but he is equally as adept with the ball at his feet. There are few forwards who are better at holding the ball up and bringing team mates into play than Crouch and he actually proved over the years that he is also hugely talented with his feet.

The 37-year-old certainly still has plenty to offer and his attitude, in terms of being willing to help Stoke secure achieve promotion this season and correct the mistakes of the previous campaign, should be commended and highlights the quality of his character.

Only time will tell what the future may hold, but Stoke would be fools not to take up Crouch’s offer of remaining at the club.

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