The Staffordshire Sentinel have reported that Stoke City forward Bojan Krkic is ready leave the club during the January transfer window.
The former Barcelona protégé has grown frustrated at a lack of game time in North Staffordshire after failing to cement a place in Mark Hughes’ team over the past ten months despite signing a new long-term contract in February.
Bojan, who is a popular figure with supporters, has been left on the bench for 11 of Stoke City’s 20 Premier League fixtures so far this campaign and has found himself dropping down the pecking order following the arrival of Joe Allen in the summer and the return of Ibrahim Afellay from injury. The 26-year-old had met with club officials over the Christmas period for clear-the-air talks where he was informed that he was still a key figure in The Potters’ long-term plans, but he did not started any of the three matches between Christmas and New Year.
Middlesbrough and West Ham United are both thought to be monitoring the situation whilst a host of Spanish clubs, led by Valencia, have already cited their interest.
What would he bring?
Bojan Krkic has proven to be a sublime, technical football player, probably not surprising considering his upbringing at Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy. Although diminutive in stature, the 26-year-old possess an abundance of talent and is a creative, innovative playmaker that has also proven to have a knack for scoring goals. In possession of the ball he is a joy to watch and is capable of producing genuine moments of pure magic that make supporters climb to their feet. In addition to his technique and skill, the Spaniard is also vastly experienced having spent time at some of Europe’s leading clubs, including Barcelona, AC Milan, Roma and Ajax.
However, there is also a reason why Bojan has been plying his trade at Stoke and not at a more illustrious footballing institution. After recovering from knee ligament damage sustained in an FA Cup tie against Rochdale in January 2015, the 26-year-old has struggled to recapture the consistency that initially made him such a big hit in The Potteries. Bojan may exhibit wonderful technical ability, yet he often struggles with the physicality of English football and has not produced a run of excellent performances for some time.
Is a move likely?
Probably not – Stoke City hold all of the cards with regards to any potential transfer with Bojan is under contract until 2020. The Potters will be under no pressure to sell unless a substantial offer is received and it is unlikely that they would allow one of their star players to join a Premier League rival. In addition to this, Mark Hughes’ forward line is currently a little light in terms of numbers with Wilfried Bony, Mame Diouf and Ramadam Sobhi all participating in the African Cup of Nations during the next six weeks, so releasing another attacker would make little sense unless a replacement can be found. With this in mind it would be a major surprise if Bojan were to leave The Potters during the January transfer window.
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