Stoke City’s poor run of form in the Championship continued at the weekend as they suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough.
Despite picking up a morale-boosting 2-0 victory in their clash with Wycombe
Wanderers earlier this month, the Potters were unable to back this display up at the Riverside Stadium.
Having now lost four of their last five league games under manager Michael O’Neill, Stoke will be
determined to get back on track when they head to Wales to face Cardiff City tomorrow.
With another season in the Championship all-but-guaranteed, it is hardly a surprise that O’Neill is already looking into making changes to his squad in the summer.
According to page 59 of yesterday’s print edition of the Sunday Sun, Stoke are reportedly willing to let Sam Clucas leave this summer as they look to cut their wage bill ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Speaking on the latest episode of Touchline Talk about the financial situation that the Potters are currently having to cope with at the Bet365 Stadium, journalist Dean Jones said: “O’Neill is
frustrated by the fact that the club have a bunch of reserve players that are hugely paid.
“Stoke have all these guys on the fringes such as Tom Ince that they that they really need to move on from and they haven’t done it.
“So O’Neill has had one hand behind his back I think but he has been doing a decent job.”
GIVEMESPORT’s Joshua Cole says…
When you consider that Clucas has failed to replicate the performance levels that resulted in him providing 14 direct goal contributions last season during the current campaign, it may be time for the Potters to cut ties with the midfielder.
Reportedly earning a weekly wage thought to be in the region of £35k, the former Hull City man’s recent performances have been relatively underwhelming as he has only been able to find the back of the net on one occasion in the Championship.
By securing a fee for Clucas this summer, Stoke could potentially sign a player who will be able to produce the goods in the second-tier on a more consistent basis which in turn will have a positive impact on the club’s fortunes next season.
For Clucas’ sake, a fresh-start elsewhere may allow him to reinvigorate his career as he has clearly illustrated in the past that he has the talent required to compete at this level.