New signing Saido Berahino could be worth an additional 10 points a season to Stoke City if Mark Hughes can help the 23-year-old to meet his potential, according to former North Staffordshire football icon Robbie Earle.
The young striker finalised a £12,000,000 (with a possible extra £3,000,000 in add-ons) move to The Potters from West Bromwich Albion earlier this month and Earle told the Staffordshire Sentinel:
“Having a genuine 10 top 15 goals a season striker should be worth 10 points a season to Stoke City, so I can understand why they are delighted. Mark Hughes has got a bargain if this fella meets his potential”.
However, Berahino had not featured for The Baggies since September after being frozen out of the first-team picture by Tony Pulis who has publically questioned the striker’s attitude, mentality and lack of fitness in recent months. However, Earle believes that Stoke supporters should wait until the 23-year-old takes to the pitch for The Potters before making any judgements:
“We have only heard one side of the story, we don’t know Berahino’s side of why things went wrong at West Brom. I would sooner reserve judgment until he’s played for Stoke, and hopefully he will do his talking on the pitch. There’s no doubt he’s a good player”.
Ironically, Berahino could make his Stoke City debut when they travel to West Brom next weekend.
In other news, Stoke City midfielder Charlie Adam is a surprise target for relegation-threatened Sunderland as the January transfer window begins to near its conclusion.
The Sunderland Echo are reporting that The Black Cats are preparing to fight off interest from Fenerbahce for the 31-year-old as David Moyes looks to reinforce his playing squad as he attempts to boost his side’s survival hopes.
Adam has featured regularly in the Stoke City midfield this season under Mark Hughes but may be tempted away from North Staffordshire if he is presented with the offer of a long-term contract. The former Scotland international has only six months remaining on his current deal and The Potters have yet to open talks regarding an extension.
David Moyes is keen to add more creativity to his Sunderland team and believes that Adam is capable of providing the service for leading goalscorer Jermain Defoe.
Meanwhile, Rochdale have signed Stoke City’s highly rated youngster Joel Taylor on loan for the remainder of the season.
The League One side have agreed a temporary deal for the 20-year-old defender who is expected to go straight into the squad for the FA Cup fourth round tie against Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
Taylor, who plays predominantly as a left fullback but can also operate as a winger, has come through the academy system at Stoke and is held in high regard by manager Mark Hughes. He was named as the club’s young player of the season last year, was included in The Potters’ pre-season tour to Europe in the summer and has featured in the EFL Cup for the under-23 team this season.
The 19-year-old midfielder came off the bench in the 1-1 draw against Chester in mid-week and almost claimed a late winning goal after his strike was deflected narrowly wide in the closing stages.
Shenton has already made two senior appearances for Stoke and was recently handed a new long-term contract that will see him remain with The Potters until 2020. However, he has found playing opportunities limited this campaign and the youngster has been sent out on loan by Mark Hughes in order to gain regular first team experience.
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