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Forget Glenn Whelan – Here Are 2 Quality Replacements Stoke City Can Look To Sign This Summer

Two Replacements For Glenn Whelan Who Stoke City Can Target If He Leaves Them This Summer

Close to three weeks into the off-season, clubs are heavily involved in planning their transfer business as they look to improve upon their exploits from the previous campaign. Stoke City endured a slightly below par season and manager Mark Hughes will be keen on getting the team back into the top half of the table in the upcoming season. The Potters have managed to take a step in the right direction, by capturing the signing of experienced midfielder Darren Fletcher from West Bromwich Albion.

However, this move seems to have cast a doubt on the future of long-serving midfielder Glenn Whelan. The Republic of Ireland international has been with the club for more than 9 years now and has been a mainstay in the middle of the park for the Premier League outfit. But, there has been peaked interest in his services from EFL Championship clubs Aston Villa and Derby County as per reports from the Birmingham Mail.

Following Fletcher’s arrival, Stoke are willing to consider selling Whelan as they risk losing him for free next summer, given that his contract will run out in June 2018. Having clocked up a total of 338 appearances for the Potters, the 33-year old may well be leaving the Bet365 Stadium this summer and here are two replacements that Hughes and Stoke can look to bring in.

Lucas Leiva

The Liverpool midfielder has been heavily linked with a move away from Anfield in the summer, with manager Jurgen Klopp looking to revamp his options in the middle of the park. Lucas is in the final month of his existing deal with the Reds and has courted interests from several clubs including the newly promoted Newcastle United.

The 30-year old Brazilian has been with Liverpool for more than ten years now and is the longest serving player in the Reds’ squad right now. He will come in with loads of experience in the Premier League and will bring in exactly similar traits to that of Whelan to the Stoke midfield, with his defensive nous and tenacity. The Potters have had decent success with bringing in players from Liverpool in the past, with Joe Allen, Charlie Adam and Glen Johnson all succeeding. Lucas could turn out to be another shrewd piece of business.

Gareth Barry

The 36-year Everton midfielder is another name that Hughes can consider, having signed him at Manchester City when he was the manager there back in 2009. Despite his age, Barry is going strong and made a total of 33 Premier League appearances for Everton last season and also signed a new one-year contract with the club to extend his stay till the summer of 2018.

However, with manager Ronald Koeman expected to bring in new faces in the transfer window, Stoke City and Hughes can tempt Barry with a move to the Bet365 Stadium in the summer. He will not be a long-term signing by any means, but the amount of experience and know-how that he will bring will be invaluable to the team, considering that he has made a total of 628 Premier League appearances – next only to Ryan Giggs.