Stoke have been one of the quieter teams this January with only a couple of low profile loan moves so far.
Kenwyne Jones has been heavily linked with a move away from the club which suggests Tony Pulis will definitely be eyeing up a striker replacement before the clock ticks over into February 1.
It’s not just that which means he’s currently on the look out for attacking support, it’s also the fact Stoke have scored only 22 goals home and away so far this season.
Only West Ham United have scored fewer goals away from home than Stoke, which leads to the logical conclusion that it’s an area Stoke must add to if they want to have a realistic shot at European football.
You should also expect Stoke to add to their defensive support before the end of the month due to the current injury of key player Marc Wilson.
Wilson is carrying an ankle problem and could be out for another three to four weeks which means Stoke are short of one of their most versatile defensive players.
Stoke have one of the best defences in the Premier League this season, which makes it all the more important for the club to solidify this area. They have conceded the same number of goals away from home as Manchester United and three fewer at home.
In terms of the midfield, various online media sources are suggesting that Stoke have already got that area covered with the imminent arrival of Brek Shea.
Shea is a versatile 22-year-old currently playing in the MLS with FC Dallas. He can play as either a winger or a central player which gives Stoke plenty of options should they pick up an injury to a key midfield man.
Pulis has never been the sort of manager to drastically overreact in the transfer market at any point but there are clear areas where the side can improve and he is shrewd enough to pick out the right bargain to help Stoke maintain their solid league position.
There is also still a lot of talk over the future of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic which has to be rectified. The links with a move to Liverpool seem to have died down but if someone makes a bid at the last minute, Stoke may also have to eye up a replacement ‘keeper.
Stoke fans, are you happy with Pulis’ approach to January?
image: © ronnie macdonald