2015/16 Finish: 9
Last season showed a great effort by Stoke City, culminating in a 9th place finish. They brought in a number of offensive talents and Jack Butland truly cemented himself as one of England’s best keepers, before succumbing to an injury. But, it was a promising showing from the Stoke side.
Transfers In: Joe Allen (MF), Ramadan Sobhi (MF), Ryan Sweeney (DF)
Joe Allen is the lead signing for Stoke City. Allen will provide a calm palm presence in the middle of the field. His passing and playmaking ability should also provide the squad with an offensive boost. Ramadan Sobhi should be an interesting player to watch this season. He’s a player that comes with a lot of upside. He’ll be a player to watch as he settles into the Premier League.
Transfers Out: Ben Barber (DF), Peter Odemwingie (FW), Steve Sidwell (MF), Ed Dryden (MF), Bobby Moseley (DF), Ryan O’Reilly (DF), Peter Skapetis (FW), Mason Watkins-Clark (DF), Yusuf Coban (FW), Dominic Kurasik (GK), Mark Waddington (MF)
This window saw Stoke lose some experience. Sidwell and Odemwingie are long time veterans who will be missed. But apart from those two players, Stoke has managed to hold on to the majority of their promising squad.
Key Player(s): Jack Butland
As previously mentioned, Butland has truly emerged as one of the best keepers in England. He was huge for Stoke last season, earning their Player of the Year Award. When he went out with a broken ankle for the end of the season it was clear that his presence was missed. The first three games following his injury saw Stoke give up 4 goals in each. That’s a clear indicator of his importance to the side.
Predicted 2016/17 Finish: 12
Stoke’s predicted finish has more to do with what other teams have done, than it does with them. They still need to make another signing or two if they really want to challenge the top teams. That being said, I do think that they have the potential to finish higher. They have quality in their side and could certainly finish higher than 12.