Stoke City may have recovered from their poor start to the season, in which they picked up just one point from their first five fixtures, by producing a six game unbeaten run, but Mark Hughes will certainly be under no illusions that he will need to strengthen his existing squad in January.
The Potters were relatively subdued in the transfer market over the summer, making just one major signing (Joe Allen) and picking up a couple of loan deals along the way (Bruno Martins-Indi, Lee Grant and Wilfried Bony), whilst they failed to secure the services of their number one target Saido Berahino. With loan deals beginning to creep towards expiry and an aging squad in need of an injection of youthful enthusiasm Mark Hughes faces some tough decisions when the transfer window re-opens.
Who has done enough to turn their temporary loan move into a permanent transfer? Will Hughes go back for Saido Berahino? What others areas do The Potters need to strengthen? We look at three key positions that Stoke will be looking to reinforce in the New Year.