Transfer Focus: Stoke City get ready to sell to buy

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Sitting in ninth place currently, Tony Pulis's side have done okay this season but they continue to draw too many games. It is now 11 out of 21 so far this season, the most in the Premier League.

Scoring seems to be the club's biggest problem with only 21 goals so far, the third least in England's top flight, behind only Aston Villa and rock bottom Queens Park Rangers.

Defensively they have options and have done well, letting in only 20 goals, the third lowest behind Chelsea and Manchester City.

Where the team needs to strengthen?

Looking at the previously discussed, it seems going forward it the biggest problem for Stoke City as defensively they are rock solid. However, too many draws have come from their lack of firepower and creativity.

Tony Pulis spent over £10m during the summer on the likes of Michael Kightly, Charlie Adam, Steven N'Zonzi and Michael Owen but none have performed in the way he would have hoped.

Top Targets

Defender Ryan Shawcross has just agreed a new five year contract and that was always the club's main objective in January and so far they are yet to be linked with any concrete targets.

Budget

"We have to bring money in to do it," the Stoke boss told Sky Sports. "If we can wheel and deal and get a few out then hopefully we'll be able to bring a couple in and give us some fresh impetus

That tells you all you need to know about Stoke City, sell to buy, buy to sell. Boss Tony Pulis will have to make some good sales before buying in the January window.

Likely Outgoing

The biggest problem with Stoke is that they have no less than 38 players all fighting for a first team spot from Peter Crouch who fails to get into the starting eleven to Wilson Palacios who has not started a game.

Some of those players will now have to leave and most likely will do so before Pulis signs anyone else. A long list of good footballers sit on the bench or in the stands on matchdays and they could be sold to make more money.

Palacios, Maurice Edu, Michael Owen, Rory Delap and Marc Wilson could all leave.

Prediction

No business. Normally Tony Pulis leaves his dealing to the last day but I think for once the club may settle for what they have got, rather than bring in new players.

image: © jad99

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