Transfer deadline day
Whether there ever was any realistic chance of Stoke signing any new players before tonight’s transfer deadline we’ll never know. There was certainly a lot of hot air and spin, but it seems to have come to nothing.
With the notable exception of Luke Chadwick's permanent move north from West Ham, the January transfer window, which was supposed to promise much, came to nought. In fact, we even took one step back.
This morning Stoke trumpeted the fact that Paul Gallagher, signed at the start of the season on a ‘season long loan’ from Blackburn Rovers WOULD be staying until the end of the season after all, but then added that Rovers had now inserted a clause saying he could be recalled anytime after the 1st March. So much for ‘a season long loan’!
Other news of the day for Stoke fans (and not good news either): Wigan announced that their Australian midfielder, Josip Skoko, would not be joining the Potters on loan, but had decided to fight for his place at the Latics.
Jan de Koning, Stoke’s assistant manager, was interviewed on BBC Radio Stoke this evening and tried to put on a positive spin saying that with Clint Hill appearing to be getting back to full fitness quicker than anticipated, the defence would not need to be strengthened by bringing in more players from outside the club. Fans will be pleased that Hill could be nearly ready for a full start, but will hope that he is not thrust into the starting lineup too soon and that when he does start he can instantly recreate the form that made him “Player of the Year” last season.
De Koning, whilst saying that the African players Stoke are currently monitoring at the African Cup in Egypt are potential summer signings, believes that the Potters will bring in more loan signings over the next couple of weeks.
He also said that relations between Boskamp and himself appeared to have thawed slightly, but it still is very unclear who will be in charge come the summer recess. My view is that is still more than likely Boskamp will be off come the end of the season, throwing the club into still more turmoil and uncertainty.
Is it surprising that we can't recruit new players?