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. This time a player who has been on Hughes’ radar for a while:
Current Club: Malaga
Position: Centre Forward / Wide Attacker
Possible Price – It is common knowledge the player has a “low” release clause in his contract but how low? Could be anywhere between five and ten million pounds and I would hope it was towards the lower end of this range
Anybody else interested: Spurs, Southampton
Giraffe or Lemon: A giraffe but I fear not the tallest
Where Would He Fit In:
Can play through the middle and in the short term this is where I would expect him to play. Being a forward similar to Sanchez, who likes to attack from wide positions utilising his pace, Sandro would allow Stoke’s three musketeers to drive into the space he vacates but playing the ball up to him hold up may not be playing to his strengths
Do We Need Him:
Two Meter Peter and Super Jon are getting on a bit and the Wilfried experiment is not working where it matters most, goals, so an alternative would be welcome but he has to get the goals, no matter how cheap his buy-out clause.
Who’s place would be under threat:
Walters and Crouch have obviously been mentioned because of their age and both of their places may be under threat but Sandro is more a direct replacement for Mame, who may be the one looking over his shoulder. But then again I doubt the Malaga man can play right back!
Verdict: Sandro seems to tick all of Mark Hughes’ boxes, especially the one which asks have they played for Barcelona, and he would be an upgrade on the strikers Stoke have at the present. As long as the buy-out clause is as “cheap” as people are making out the Malaga player would be worth the gamble. My only question would be how much tweaking of the way we play at present would be required to get the best out of the Spaniard and what effect would these tweaks have on the likes of Arnie and Shaqiri.