Stoke City may have found a potential solution to their goal scoring woes after Southampton reportedly put striker Che Adams on the market.
According to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay, the Saints are open to allowing Adams to leave on six-month loan deal this January. He added that any loan would cost £1m to the club taking him and could include an obligation to buy in the summer.
Adams would be a major coup for Stoke and has been prolific during past seasons in the Championship. He scored 22 Championship goals for Birmingham City last season and despite being just 23, Adams has already scored 63 professional goals.
Since moving to Southampton in the summer, Adams has struggled to make an impact in an under-performing Saints team, failing to score in any of his 19 appearances. While Southampton’s form has improved in recent weeks, coach Ralph Hassenhuttl has instead opted to use Danny Ings and Michael Obafemi.
Stoke though are desperately in need of a goal scorer with proven quality at this level, with Sam Vokes, Lee Gregory and Scott Hogan managing 11 league goals between them. Furthermore, speculation is rife that Tyrese Campbell could depart the club, with Celtic and Rangers said to be interested.
A move for Adams would be great business for Stoke and Michael O’Neill. Since arriving he has been given a series of difficult situations and in general has handled them well, while also leading the club out of the relegation spots. With the transfer window now open, he deserves to be backed and the club should absolutely make a move for a player with proven quality.
O’Neill did intimate that loan deals may be the other option, but luckily this would not preclude the club from making a move for Adams. Leeds United are said to be interested, but Stoke can offer guaranteed football where Marcelo Bielsa’s side may not be able to.