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Stoke: so was it £6.5m well spent?

Stoke: so was it £6.5m well spent?

So the dust has nearly settled and barring a late arrival from Stephen Kelly we now know who we've got for the remainder of the season.

The big arrivals are no doubt James Beattie and Matthew Etherington. Beattie arrived from Sheffield United for £3.5m (which included a performance bonus) and Etherington was signed from the Hammers for £3m. Both have already started to justify their fees with good performances, highlighted in Saturday's win courtesy of Etherington's cross to Beattie who headed home for his second goal for the Potters in only three games.

Henri Camara has joined on loan from the Latics after being a target for Tony Pulis since the summer and will provide some decent options up front. We've struggled for numbers in attack in recent weeks with injuries to Sidibe and Kitson and suspensions for Fuller and Cresswell and were forced to rely on our fifth choice striker, Vincent Pericard, for the FA Cup defeat at Hartlepool. Now that we've also got Beattie and Camara to call upon, that problem shouldn't occur again.

Moving out of the Brit for the last time were some fringe players:
Ritchie De Laet made a dream £1m move to Manchester United despite never having made a first team start for the Potters. Lewis Buxton made his earlier loan move to Sheffield Wednesday permanent in return for a 'nominal fee'. Finally, Demar Phillips has made the move to Norway on a free transfer after failing to get many chances for the Potters.

We've also let several players move to other clubs on loan:
Carl Dickinson has gone to Leeds for a month.
Tom Soares is playing for Championship strugglers, Charlton after finding first team action thin on the ground since joining from Crystal Palace in September.
Youngsters Tom Thorley and Nathaniel Wedderburn have gone out to gain experience at Stafford Rangers and Notts County respectively.

With the loan window reopening next week for Football League clubs, we'd expect some others to be sent out on loan once Tony Pulis has had time to assess who he needs to keep. Ibrahima Sonko is one likely candidate having already been linked to Birmingham City.

Any takers out there for Vincent Pericard?

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Chris Baldwin
Date:Tuesday February 3 2009
Time: 10:15PM

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