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Journalist names the two Stoke players out on loan who should return to the first-team

According to Peter Smith of the Stoke Sentinel, of the 13 Stoke City players out on loan, only two have a real shot of returning and playing in the first-team.

At present, Stoke City have Ryan Woods, Josef Bursik, Lasse Sorensen,  Peter Etebo, Benik Afobe, Bruno Martins Indi, Tom Edwards, Lee Gregory, Tom Ince, Liam Lindsay, Kevin Wimmer, Moritz Bauer and Badou Ndiaye all out on loan.

As previously reported on The72, manager Michael O’Neill would ideally like a squad of 24. This could mean that they could sell at least 11 players to trim down the roster.

Smith gave his say on the future of those out on loan, stating only two will likely return to the first-team fold in the summer.

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‘Lasse Sorensen is still only 21 and has had a useful season on loan at MK Dons in League One,’ wrote Smith.

‘His first real taste of regular men’s football and having to fight for a shirt every week.

‘Tom Edwards, aged 22, is hoping to reignite his Stoke career with a year at New York Red Bulls.

‘It will be unlikely for any of the others currently away from the club to come back and start afresh. All will still be under contract at Stoke next season but all will be looking for new homes in the summer, hopefully permanently but – particularly in the current market – possibly on loan again.’

Sorensen and Edwards would have some work to do to become regulars for Stoke however. The former is a midfielder and would be competing with the likes of Joe Allen, John Obi Mikel, Tashan Oakley-Boothe, and Jordan Thompson. Whereas the latter would be aiming to dislodge right-back Tommy Smith, although he could provide back-up to the former Huddersfield Town man.

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Although Smith is expecting the duo to stay and fight for their place, the other players who are likely to leave could put plenty of clubs in the EFL on high alert.

Ryan Woods is on loan at Millwall and the move could become permanent in the summer. Likewise Lee Gregory is at Derby County, Liam Lindsay is at Preston North End and Tom Ince is plying his trade at Luton Town.

The majority of those on loan elsewhere do boast a wealth of experience with the likes of Benik Afobe, Bruno Martins Indi, Badou Ndiaye and Kevin Wimmer having played in the Premier League and at the highest level in international football.

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