With less than a month to go until the transfer window opens the footballing rumour mill is beginning to build into a crescendo of speculation. In keeping with this tradition I will be giving you my run down on the players who are being linked with a move to the Bet365.
Current Club: AC Milan
Position: Centre Half
Possible Price – Nothing as the player has yet to sign a professional contract
Anybody else interested: Sevilla, Chelsea
Giraffe or Lemon: Too early to say
Where Would He Fit In:
One for the future he would join up with the under18s.
Do We Need Him:
It would all depend on just how much potential Sportelli has but Stoke are quickly adopting the mentality of the leading Premiership clubs by attempting to hoover up as much young talent as they can. The next step, and we will all have to be patient, is to try and bring more of these young players into our match day squad.
Who’s place would be under threat:
In the first team squad nobody but hopefully any deal would provide competition for the youth and under age players playing in his position.
Verdict: Whilst adding to our list of potential stars is always going to be beneficial the real task for our youth and under age coaches is to bring these players on enough that they can be considered for first team inclusion. The likes of Ngoy, Souttar, Shenton and Verlinden being in and around the first team squad is a big step in the right direction, the next one has to be getting these players onto the pitch.
In the case of Sportelli however, I fear this is nothing more than his agent trying to negotiate the best contract he can for his client, a feeling which is backed up with the mention of Sevilla. It seems these days if you want to generate interest in your client ourselves and the Spanish club are the first two clubs you name check, a sign of our increased standing in the game perhaps but also frustrating none the less.