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O’Neill joining hands with this 22-year-old Northern Irish star could steer Stoke to safety

Why Jordan Thompson could be a good signing for Stoke City

According to Stoke Sentinel, new Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill could be looking at Blackpool and Northern Irish midfielder Jordan Thompson as a potential option to bolster his squad during the mid-season trading period in January. 

The report doesn’t reveal whether the Potters are genuinely interested in the 22-year-old central midfielder but the Belfast Press (h/t Stoke Sentinel) has earmarked Thompson as a possible name on the new manager’s shortlist moving forward.

Currently, O’Neill is under pressure to steer the Potters to safety, and possibly, a respectable mid-table finish in the Championship. 

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Jordan Thompson has enjoyed considerable success under Michael O’Neill in the Northern Irish international setup (Getty Images)

A 4-2 victory over Barnsley prior to the international break meant that Stoke got off to a positive start to life under their new manager but there is still a lot of work to be done in order to get the club’s campaign back on track.

Born in Belfast, Jordan Thompson rose through the youth ranks of Manchester United but he moved north of the border to Old Firm giants Rangers, following his failure to make the grade at Old Trafford. 

The midfielder’s stint at Ibrox wasn’t really a fruitful one, as the 22-year-old made only two first-team appearances for Rangers and spent time on loan at Airdrioenians, Raith Rovers and Livingston in the lower divisions before a move to Blackpool in the summer of 2018 helped him resurrect his career. 

Thompson has established himself as a regular fixture for Blackpool in the League One over the past 12 months, accumulating 4 goals and 6 assists in 58 appearances across all competitions.

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The 22-year-old has resurrected his career since his move to Blackpool last summer (Getty Images)

In fact, the 22-year-old has been instrumental in the Seasiders’ march up to 8th in the standings under Simon Grayson this term, with Thompson scoring and assisting one apiece in 12 league fixtures so far. 

Thompson’s success at Blackpool has also earned him international recognition in recent times, with Michael O’Neill handing the midfielder his first start for Northern Ireland in a friendly against Luxembourg back in September. 

To put things into perspective, Michael O’Neill’s knowledge of Jordan Thompson from the Northern Irish international setup is well-documented and Stoke City’s midfield would receive a huge boost if the new manager completes a deal to bring the 22-year-old to the bet 365 Stadium in January. 

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Thompson had an ill-fated spell at Rangers earlier in his career (Getty Images)

O’Neill is yet to establish his new footballing philosophy at the club and it remains to be seen if he will continue to utilize a balanced 4-3-3 formation, with two forward-minded midfielders operating on either side of a holding presence in a No.6 role. 

With Sam Clucas, Peter Etebo, Ryan Woods, Joe Allen, James McLean and Nick Powell all in the ranks, O’Neill has plenty of options at his disposal in order to ensure the right kind of balance between the defence and the attack. 


However, with Badou Ndiaye’s potential departure in January looming large, the Potters would be wise enough to bring in a replacement (h/t Stoke Sentinel).

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Credits: Getty Images

Thompson is a player in the right age bracket at 22, meaning that the Potters could have a finished article on their hands in the years to come if he goes on to fulfil his promise under O’Neill. 

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All in all, Michael O’Neill’s reunion with Jordan Thompson at the bet 365 Stadium in January might work wonders for Stoke City as far as their hopes of beating the drop in the Championship are concerned.