Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill has said winger Tom Ince could still play a role in the Potters’ plans in a new role at wing-back.

Out of favour winger Tom Ince remained with Stoke City this summer after half a season on loan with Luton Town last campaign.

The former Liverpool and Blackpool recently expressed his desire to play regular football.

Now, boss Michael O’Neill has revealed that Ince could yet play an important role for his side, but in a new position as a wing-back.

READ: These 13 Stoke City players see their contracts expire in 2022

Speaking with the club’s official website (quotes via Stoke on Trent Live), O’Neill said that having featured in the role on a couple of occasions, he is open to deploying Ince at wing-back.

He added that his more attack-minded playstyle could be of use in the position, saying:

“Tom has played in that role a couple of times now and played well when he has been asked to do that job for us.

“I wouldn’t say that it is his natural position. But, I would say that there will be games when maybe we will utilise him in that position. If we are behind for example, then we may go with two more attacking wingers in the wing-back roles to get us higher up the pitch.”

Competition for a starting spot

So far this season, Tommy Smith has successfully held down the starting role as O’Neill’s right wing-back. The 29-year-old has started all five of Stoke City’s Championship games, chipping in with three assists in the process.

Free transfer arrival Dumeaco Duhaney is also an option, but he is still awaiting his debut for his new side.

As mentioned before, Ince has featured in the role already, starting at wing-back in their two Carabao Cup clashes. In ties with Fleetwood Town and Doncaster Rovers, the Stockport-born ace has managed one goal and one assist.