Stoke City will be looking to revamp their ranks this summer after another ultimately underwhelming season of Championship football for the Potters.
Stoke City had a bright spell in the latter months of the season but after form tailed off again towards the end of the campaign, the need for a host of new signings was stressed once again.
Players who are ready to come straight into the starting XI are needed but the Potters could do with adding depth too while also future-proofing their options in central midfield and out wide. The club could do both those things by reviving their previous interest in Scottish talent Stuart McKinstry…
Heading for pastures new…
Stoke City were linked with McKinstry way back in November, with Sheffield United also mentioned as an admirer at the time. There was doubt over his long-term future with Leeds United then and now, new claims from the Daily Record (Transfer News Live, 16.05.23, 13:23) have emerged saying he is set to leave the club as a free agent this summer.
His situation is of interest to clubs in Scotland and England, and while no specific teams are mentioned, the Potters would be wise to be among those considering a move.
The 20-year-old can play on either the right or left-wing as well as through the middle as an attacking or central midfielder. That versatility would provide some much-needed depth in those key roles for Alex Neil and with the best years of his career still ahead of him, McKinstry is someone Stoke could nurture and develop before potentially making him a regular in the side.
McKinstry is a quick wide player with good dribbling. The creative side of his game needs developing but he has shown an eye for goal, scoring in back-to-back games against Rangers and Aberdeen earlier this season before managing the same feat in ties against Hibernian and Ross County in January.
He wouldn’t necessarily be an instant fix for Stoke City amid their need for new options in those wide/attacking midfield roles, but McKinstry is someone Neil could develop and nurture and use as cover at least. As a bright talent set to be available on the cheap, the Scot should be in the Potters’ thinking again after the previous links.