Stoke City will be hoping a fruitful summer transfer window can thrust them into promotion contention for next season, but they will need a new goalkeeper if they are to do so.
Stoke City have had a host of starting goalkeepers over the course of the season. Joe Bursik had a spell as no.1 before his winter exit to Club Brugge before Matija Sarkic arrived as a replacement. He’s been sidelined through injury though, meaning Jack Bonham has come back into the side while Frank Fielding has served as his backup.
Ahead of the summer, a long-term addition to the Potters’ goalkeeping ranks should be considered as a matter of priority, and one player who should be shortlisted is Ipswich Town shot-stopper Christian Walton.
Summer interest in Walton…
It has been claimed that multiple clubs are showing an interest in the Ipswich Town star ahead of the summer. The Tractor Boys’ bid to hold onto their no.1 will only be made harder if they fail to win promotion too, so potential suitors will have a keen eye on how the end of the season pans out for Kieran McKenna’s side.
Regardless of how the campaign ends for Ipswich though, Walton should be a player on Stoke’s shopping list. He’s proven himself at Championship level before during loans with Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic and Luton Town and has been one of League One’s best goalkeepers this campaign. Walton has tallied 17 clean sheets in 37 third-tier games, conceding only 31 goals in the process.
At 27, he’s still got plenty of his best years ahead of him and with a year left on his contract at Portman Road, Stoke should look to test Ipswich’s resolve with a summer move for the ‘keeper. Alex Neil will be hoping to take his side to the upper echelons of the division next season and should be using those ambitions to try and tempt high-quality players like Walton to the Bet365 Stadium.
The fact there is already reported interest in Walton means there could be a fight for his signature, but the Potters should certainly be among those scrapping for his signature given the need for a new no.1.