The Stoke City fans in the Transfer Tavern are expecting a much better season this time around and believe Mark Hughes really is under pressure to perform.
Indeed, the Potters seem to be stagnating somewhat under the Welshman, so a good start after a relatively quiet summer window is of paramount importance. So, reports from the Daily Mail have gone down rather well today.
They claim the club have snubbed an approach from Swansea City for Wales international Joe Allen. The Swans are thought to have identified the 27-year-old as a replacement for Everton target Gylfi Sigurdsson, though it seems Stoke aren’t willing to let him go.
A hugely popular figure amongst the punters propping up our bar, the ‘Welsh Xavi’ as he was so infamously crowned by Brendan Rodgers played well after joining from Liverpool, becoming a key member of Stoke’s midfield.
An all-rounded, it’s easy to see why his former charges wanted him back, though losing Allen would be a big blow for Stoke.
With Stoke City in dire need of an exciting season, Allen’s presence in central midfield is key. Able to link play and keep a solid base as their big-name attackers push on, losing him would be a nightmare at this stage of the window.