Stoke City: Things to know about Alfie Doughty

Stoke City: Things to know about Alfie Doughty

Stoke City have been interested in Alfie Doughty since early this summer and it looks like they may have finally gotten their man. Stoke were one of a number of clubs interested in Doughty this January including Celtic, Rangers, and a few other Championship clubs. Despite the competition, Charlton have accepted a £650,000 bid and it looks like the promising young player has chosen Stoke as his next club. This signing will be Stoke’s second of the window after acquiring Rabbi Matondo on loan from Shalke last week.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – JULY 15: Alfie Doughty of Charlton Athletic is challenged by Marc Roberts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Charlton Athletic at St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium on July 15, 2020 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

One key stipulation in landing Doughty is that he will stay with Charlton for the rest of the season. Even though Stoke could use help right now down the left side, Doughty is currently injured and would not be able to replace the also injured Morgan Fox or the out of form James McClean.

So what do we know about Doughty?

Stats (full stats via FBRef)

His stats do not jump off the page in terms of scoring, just 1 goal and 1 assist in 9 matches. But what is impressive are his crosses, at least the number of them – he’s had 34 crosses in just nine matches and last season he was second on the team in total crosses despite being moved around all over the field. It’s obvious that Stoke City are getting a player that knows how to get past defenders and get balls into the box. If you need more convincing, just watch this video of him beating Sheffield Wednesday defender and assisting on a goal last December.

Position

This season Alfie Doughty has played defensive-mid, forward, left-mid, and right-mid. During the 2019-20 season he also moved around quite a bit and did make 11 starts at left-back. It’s safe to say he’s good enough to start in multiple positions for Charlton side that is currently 7th in League One.

What is not so clear is what Michael O’Neill will be looking for out of Doughty. O’Neill clearly favors versatility, but one downside to Doughty is that he has not taken hold of a position yet. Still plenty of time solidify a role, but for a Stoke team that have obvious needs (left-back, striker) the Doughty signing will not immediately solve those issues. What I like about this signing is that Stoke recognized a young talent and went out and got the player even though he won’t be with the club this season. It’s a confident move that is betting on potential, I like that in a club.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Alfie Doughty of Charlton Athletic runs with the ball during the Carabao Cup Second Round Match between West Ham United and Charlton Athletic at London Stadium on September 15, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Replacement for James McClean or Josh Tymon?

It’s crazy talking about a replacement for James McClean after being player of the year for Stoke in 2019/20, but the 31 year-old winger has just been brutal lately. Doughty has similar characteristics to McClean – he plays with tenacity and physicality and has a good work rate. Next season could be the start of a very healthy competition between the two. Also in the mix is Josh Tymon who has, similar to Doughty, played almost every position on the left side. We’ll have to wait till next season to see how Doughty fits in, but right now the signing directly impacts both McClean and Tymon.