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A Perfect Jon Walters Replacement? Stoke City Should Look To Sign This Cameroonian Forward

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Benjamin Moukandjo

Stoke City Should Look To Sign Benjamin Moukandjo As Jonathan Walters Replacement

Stoke City are set to lose one of their longest serving players in their squad currently, as attacker Jonathan Walters closes in on a move to fellow Premier League outfit Burnley.

The 33-year old striker had grown frustrated over the lack of opportunities that came his way over the course of last season, with manager Mark Hughes preferring to use the Irishman sparingly. As a result, Walters just made 24 appearances across all competitions, in which he managed to score 4 goals and set 4 more up.

The former Ipswich Town forward just has a year left on his contract with Stoke, and as per the latest reports from BBC Sport, the Potters have accepted a £3million offer from the Clarets and a move is imminent, subject to a medical. Walters will depart Stoke City having made 271 appearances in which he managed to find the back of the net on 62 occasions.

This leaves Hughes in a bit of a quandary ahead of the next season as he will be left short of options in attack, following Wilfried Bony’s return to Manchester City and Walters’ impending transfer. While he does have Peter Crouch, Saido Berahino in his ranks, the manager will want to add more quality to his forward line in order to put on a better display in the season ahead, after finishing 13th last season.

One option that Hughes and Stoke should consider looking at is FC Lorient’s Benjamin Moukandjo.

Jonathan Walters
Jonathan Walters

The 28-year old has been a consistent goal-scorer in France’s league setup and has notched up a total of 47 Ligue1 goals in 165 appearances. Moukandjo joined FC Lorient in the summer of 2015 from Reims and has had an impressive two campaigns with the club. Despite Lorient getting relegated to the French second division this season, Moukandjo finished with a decent tally of 13 goals and 2 assists from 25 Ligue1 games.

The striker is the captain of the Cameroon national team and has represented them on 43 occasions, scoring 7 times. Moukandjo was a part of the Cameroonian squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year and also led the team in the recently concluded FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 in Russia.

Moukandjo, much like Walters, can play as a centre-forward and slot in on the right-flank as well. A good dribbler and an even better finisher, the Cameroon international also possesses excellent ground speed. He has the smartness to make darting runs in behind the backline and can also stretch defences wide with his pace. And with the physical stature to go with it, he ticks almost all the traits needed of a forward to make the cut in the Premier League. Quick, agile, versatile and direct – that is what Moukandjo is on the whole.

While he may not offer the same as Walters in terms of defensive contribution and work-rate, Moukandjo will easily get more goals than the Irishman for the Potters and can easily become the spearhead of the attack, ahead of the misfiring Berahino and the ageing Peter Crouch. With just one year left on his contract with Lorient, he is expected to come in on the cheap as well.

There has been interest from Turkey in Moukandjo, with the likes of Galatasaray and Bursaspor monitoring him (Goal). Premier League side Crystal Palace too were linked with him in May (Daily Mail). At 28 years of his age, he is at the peak of his career and can have a great impact for Stoke if they sign him. He may not be the biggest name, but Moukandjo certainly has the ability to replace Walters and turn into a more than decent signing for Stoke.