Stoke City supporters have been in fine voice in the last few hours after seeing their side return to winning ways in the Championship on Tuesday night.
Gary Rowett’s men went into their meeting with Swansea City at the bet365 Stadium off the back of a 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday in their previous league outing, thus leaving them having won just one of their opening seven Championship matches. Yet the Staffordshire-based outfit made it three home wins in a row in all competitions on Tuesday night as a Joe Allen goal was enough to seal a 1-0 victory over Graham Potter’s Swans, thus moving the Potters up to 14th place in the second tier table.
As such, there have been many happy Stoke fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom used the international break to look back at their side’s business during the summer window, what with there quite an overhaul of the playing squad at the bet365 Stadium.
And one man who left the club during the close season was defender Marc Muniesa, and while the Potters made a £4.5 million profit (as per Transfermarkt) on the Spaniard, their defensive frailties last term and indeed in the early stages of this season suggest it was something of a mistake to let him go.
The 26-year-old made the move to Staffordshire back in 2013 following the expiration of his contract at Spanish giants Barcelona, and he went on to make 67 appearances for Stoke in his five-year spell at the club, 40 of which coming in the Premier League.
Yet his lowly position in the pecking order saw the defender move out on loan to Girona for the entirety of the 2017/18 campaign, making 14 appearances for the Spanish side before returning to Stoke following their relegation from the top-flight, only to re-sign for Girona on a permanent deal during the close season.
Thus, Muniesa wasn’t necessarily a first-choice throughout his time at the bet365 Stadium, but there was little doubting that he could have done a job for the club this term given his adeptness at both centre back and indeed left back.
And in a Stoke side that have already conceded 13 goals from their seven league games, only Queens Park Rangers have shipped more (14), he could well have played a part in helping stabilise Rowett’s backline, as there is very little chance that the Potters will be challenging for promotion until they buck their ideas up at the back.
As such, while getting £4.5 million for his services represented a fine piece of business from the Stoke hierarchy, having signed him for nothing five years ago, it appears that they have on the whole made a huge error in sanctioning his departure during the summer.
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