Stoke City have definitely cemented themselves as a Premier League club now, and many thought that after Tony Pulis left they could’ve gone into free-fall. Quite the opposite has happened though, and Mark Hughes is trying to get them playing attractive football. We saw glimpses of that on show last season, but it should become a much more frequent event this season.
Mark Hughes has brought in some excellent signings, without spending an awful lot of money. Their squad looks extremely strong, and they should finish in the top half of the table once again.
Key Player: It has to be the new siging Bojan Krkic. The 23-year old was regarded as one of the worlds hottest talents a few years ago, and although he hasn’t progressed as Barcelona would’ve liked he’s still a talented player. If he is kept fit, he will score Premier League goals.
Phil Bardsley – Free transfer (Southampton)
Bojan – £3million (Barcelona)
Mame Biram Diouf – Free transfer (Hannover)
Steve Sidwell – Free transfer (Fulham)
Michael Kightly – Undisclosed (Burnley)
Jermaine Pennant – Released (Unassigned)
Jack Butland – Loan (Leeds United)
Last season’s Premier League finish: 9th
Predicted League Finish: 10th
Southampton have made some good signings, with England goalkeeper Fraiser Forster being one of the standout signings. However the have lost so much quality in Ricky Lambert, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Luke Shaw that it is hard to see their eighth placed finish being repeated this season. The St Mary’s Faithful will be hoping the new additions can gel quicky.