Transfer Roundup: What Morgan Fox will bring to the Potters
It’s taken what seems like a lifetime, but this summer Stoke finally did it… they signed a true left-back. Not a center-back who can sometimes play on the left side, not a right back we can experiment with on the left, and not a winger who we are looking to convert – Morgan Fox is an actual left-back. While Bruno Martins Indi and James McClean played some inspiring football towards the end of the season to fill the gap, it was no secret that this would not be a long term solution and it’s truly refreshing to see such a glaring need addressed with the first summer signing. This will go down as a common sense move and should draw little criticism.
The 26 year old signed a 3 year deal with Stoke this summer as he let his contract expire with Sheffield Wednesday. During his tenure with the Owl’s he made 103 appearances across competitions. Though he was not always a club favorite, he seemed to be playing his best football recently under Garry Monk. From all accounts, Fox is a really well-rounded player who is sound defensively, competes well, and can get forward. Sticking with the positive – Fox, unlike other summer signings John Obi Mikel and Steven Fletcher is in the prime of his career with little injury history, and coming off his best season.
Since Michael O’Neill seems pretty set on rolling with a 4-3-3 at least some of the time, having a true left-back is necessary to make that system work. It remains to be seen how well Fox can play in that role, and how much he will be relied upon to get forward and create/overlap with McClean, but on paper the Stoke roster looks better with Fox on it. Overall, Stoke get a quality left-back who is in his prime that will immediately sure up a glaring need.
What does this mean for Josh Tymon?
The Fox signing makes Josh Tymon’s situation is a little less clear. On the left side, Stoke will most likely roll with Fox and McClean to start and have Tymon and Bruno Martins Indi coming off the bench, with Tymon being the more forward option. While Michael O’Neill stressed how well Tymon has played this summer you have to think that getting him to a club where he can see regular minutes will be better for his development.