Championship

Gary Rowett simply must reunite with Tom Huddlestone to seriously strengthen Stoke City

Gary Rowett simply must reunite with Tom Huddlestone to seriously strengthen Stoke City

According to a recent report from The Daily Mail, Stoke City are interested in a move for midfielder Tom Huddlestone. The 31-year-old currently plays his football at fellow Championship outfit Derby County and has done so since leaving Hull City back in 2017, with the Englishman doing his bit to help the Rams reach the play-offs last time round, only to fall short in the semi-finals to eventual winners Fulham.

And manager Gary Rowett reportedly wants to reunite with the £3.15 million-rated midfield enforcer (as per Transfermarkt) at the bet365 Stadium, in a move which would seriously strengthen Stoke as they seek an immediate return to the Premier League.

The Breakdown

Ultimately, the Potters have made a sluggish start to the new campaign in failing to win any of their opening three Championship matches, the latest of which a 2-2 draw away at Preston North End.

And while the Staffordshire-based outfit did well to retain some of their most influential stars, most notably Jack Butland and Ryan Shawcross, and indeed added some fine Championship players in the form of Benik Afobe, Tom Ince, and James McClean, it’s clear that further reinforcements are needed to get their season up and running, and thus turn them into genuine promotion contenders.

And while the likes of Joe Allen and Darren Fletcher are mightily fine midfield players, it’s arguable that greater strength and industry is needed in that area of the field, which is exactly what Huddlestone would bring were he to reunite with Rowett at the bet365 Stadium.

The 31-year-old was signed by Rowett at Derby just 12 months ago and he certainly produced the goods for the Rams in appearing in all but two of their 48 Championship matches over the course of the campaign and indeed the play-offs, with the midfielder netting two goals along the way.

But it’s what Huddlestone offers a team both on and indeed off the ball in that more defensive-minded midfield position which is sure to be of interest to Rowett, as the former Tottenham star is very composed on the ball and is able to pick a pass, at the same time being aerially dominant and also able to break things up in front of the backline.

And having played 139 times in the Championship before will add even greater experience to a Stoke side that boasts a decent amount of second tier experience, while the fact that Huddlestone has gone all the way and won promotion, having done so with Hull back in 2016, suggests that he has the know-how in getting the job done – that can only benefit and significantly improve this Stoke squad.

Thus, reuniting with the midfielder at the Staffordshire-based club is something Rowett must seek to get done in a bid to seriously strengthen his Stoke team ahead of a promotion push Potters fans are expecting from their side this term.

Stoke fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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