Stoke City look to impress with big signings
College Contributor Network
Mark Hughes' side is looking to impress with several big name signings, including the club record signing of Xherdan Shaqiri.
Despite having a negative result in their first fixture against Liverpool, Stoke has not yet given up on doing whatever it takes to make quality acquisitions. The 12 million pound signing of Shaqiri is yet another quality move made by the Potters.
Stoke has added several quality signings this transfer window, including Ibrahim Affelay and Marco van Ginkel, who is spending the season on loan at the Brittania Stadium.
The signings of Shaqiri, Affelay, and van Ginkel add experience at high level competition to the Potters' line up, while Stoke has also added significant depth too. Free signings of Shay Given and Glen Johnson have reinforced Mark Hughes side in positions that they lacked in.
Given replaced outgoing keeper Asmir Begovic, who departed the club for Chelsea as a replacement for Petr Cech. The Potters' push for their highest league finish will continue as they look to further strengthen their lineup, but if Mark Hughes side hopes to make club history, they will need to keep injuries to a minimum.
Currently, Stoke have three key injury concerns. Hughes will have to do without Marko Arnautovic, Ryan Shawcross, and Erik Pieters who was withdrawn at halftime against Liverpool due to a knock sustained in the first half.
Arnautovic is expected back soon, which will offer a much needed boost to the squad. However, with Shawcross out for an extended time and Pieters the first choice at left back, defense could be an issue.
Hughes will likely try to reinforce his defense further before September 2, to help his squad on as it strives for success.
Nick Papadis is a junior at American University majoring broadcast journalism and broadcasts AU Men's Soccer amongst other sports. Nick is an avid Liverpool fan. Follow him on twitter @NPSoccerTalk