Why Stoke City have done a good business by signing James McClean
James McClean has completed his transfer to Stoke City, with the Championship club confirming that the Ireland winger has been signed from the recently relegated West Brom. McClean arrives on a £5million move to Gary Rowett’s side and expectations will be high.
He becomes Rowett’s fourth signing of the summer, following the arrivals of Peter Etebo, Benik Afobe and Adam Federici, and has put pen to paper on a four-year deal. But is signing him a good deal for the Potters?
Last season wasn’t great for the winger after he scored just once and provided no assists in 30 appearances for the Baggies.
However, he had some decent performances for his national side. His efforts at international level were acclaimed when he was named as his country’s Senior Player of the Year at the inaugural CRISC Awards in Dublin last month.
McClean has been capped 59 times for Ireland, while the 29-year-old also has huge experience on the domestic scenes. He has made 356 career appearances, almost half of which have come in the Premier League with Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion. He has scored 54 goals in his career and has assisted a further 42.
Manager Gary Rowett has been very persistent in his attempt to get the player even in the past. He wanted him when he was in charge of both Birmingham and Derby County. Now his wish to have him at the bet365 Stadium has been granted, and the boss is delighted. He said:
“When you drop down to the Championship you need players who are going to fight, you need people who are going to work hard, you need people who’ve got quality and he’s shown all of those things in his career and that’s why I want him. I want a team with great quality and I want a team with… I don’t mean a lot more spirit, but more spirit than some of the players have been used to giving.”
McClean, known for his strong political beliefs and refusal to wear a Poppy, joins a squad that’s looking more and more dangerous and well-balanced. Stoke are one of the favourites for immediate promotion and with such strong transfers, it’s understandable why.
The Irish international is a player who can help the Potters return to the Premier League at the first time of asking, not least because of his second-tier experience with Wigan. It’s a great deal for Gary Rowett, who will be pleased with how his team is starting to take shape.