Why Andros Townsend would be a brilliant buy for Stoke City
Stoke City are doing everything possible to get back to the Premier League after getting relegated last season. New manager Gary Rowett has already brought in Oghenekaro Etebo and Benik Afobe, whilst Joe Allen has signed a new deal.
And Rowett now has set his sights on Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie as Stoke look to continue their big summer spending spree. However, Newcastle have rejected a £15million bid for Ritchie. It is reported that if the Magpies do decide to sell Ritchie, the Scottish winger’s preference would be to move back to Bournemouth rather than Stoke.
Keeping that in mind, Rowett must shift his focus from Ritchie to Crystal Palace wide man Andros Townsend.
Stoke have already lost Ramadan Sobhi to Huddersfield Town and with Xherdan Shaqiri expected to depart in the coming weeks, Rowett’s side will lack a natural winger who can offer width, pace and a final ball. Townsend would certainly fit the bill for Stoke.
Townsend, 26, was one of Palace’s shining lights under Roy Hodgson, scoring 2 goals and supplying 7 assists in 36 Premier League games.
Following Christian Benteke’s injury midway through the season, Hodgson paired Townsend and Wilfried Zaha up front and the move paid off handsomely. The duo worked well in tandem and ripped apart opposing defences with pace, power and athleticism.
After a few years of uncertainty and rare first-team opportunities at his former club Tottenham Hotspur, Townsend has found his rhythm at the top level once again with Crystal Palace. And he could prove to be a dangerous outlet should he make the switch to Stoke.
The 26-year-old was influential in helping Palace avoid the drop this past season and he could bring a lot of energy and spark to Rowett’s team.
The England international operates at a high intensity and loves to dribble. Townsend possesses pace in abundance and plays with a certain kind of directness that would provide Rowett with an entirely different option in the final third.
The 26-year-old is most lethal when operating on the right-wing from where he usually cuts in with his sweet left foot.
Townsend doesn’t slouch when it comes to completing defensive duties as well. He often tracks back to aid the backline and that will be vital for the Potters.
While he can be frustrating to watch at times, often trying to shoot too early or failing to find a man with his final ball, Townsend’s dynamism and energy will work wonders for Stoke in the Championship.
Stoke have made some big moves in the transfer window already and Townsend would be another statement signing. A deal is going to be tough to conclude as the south Londoners will be reluctant to sell their star performer. Hence, Stoke must make an offer that will be hard to turn down.