Why Ross Stewart would be a promising signing for Stoke City
Championship rivals Blackburn Rovers are also keeping tabs on the 23-year-old frontman, who has been in fine form for Scottish Premiership strugglers Ross County in the ongoing campaign (Daily Record h/t Stoke Sentinel).
The Staggies climbed up to 7th in the standings with a 2-1 victory over Hibernian, as Stewart bagged a brace to take his goal tally for the season up to 7 in the Premiership.
The 23-year-old has racked up impressive returns of 11 goals and 3 assists in 20 appearances for Ross County in all competitions so far and his rich vein of form has prompted EFL Championship duo Stoke City and Blackburn to shortlist him as a potential target.
Born in Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland, Ross Stewart started his career with Ardeer Thistle and Kilwinning Rangers at non-league level before making the step up to professional football with Albion Rovers in the Scottish League One during the 2016-17 campaign.
A 12-goal season in the third-tier paved the way for a switch to the Scottish Championship with St. Mirren in 2017 but Stewart returned on loan to the third-tier with Alloa Athletic after struggling for playtime at his new club.
The 23-year-old was eventually snapped up by Ross County in the summer of 2018 and he guided the Staggies to top-flight promotion with a tally of 11 goals in 32 appearances in all competitions the last term.
Stewart has since gone from strength to strength, establishing himself as a force to reckon with in the Scottish Premiership.
Meanwhile, Stoke City are struggling at the bottom of the standings in the Championship, following a terrible run of form over the first four months of the campaign, having won only 4 out of their 19 games so far.
With things nearing the halfway mark in the season, new manager Michael O’Neill has his work cut out to steer the Potters clear of relegation in the coming months.
A dismal goal difference of -13 stemming from a tally of just 20 goals scored and 33 conceded clearly epitomizes the need for radical reinforcements at both ends of the pitch during the mid-season trading period in January.
To put things into perspective, Stoke City’s interest in Ross County star Ross Stewart doesn’t come as a big surprise, given their position at the bottom of the table in the Championship.
The 23-year-old has only just made the step up to the Scottish top-flight. While it is true that a striker with proven Championship pedigree would fit the bill better at the bet365 Stadium, the Potters’ position at the bottom of the standings mean that they could struggle to attract big names in January.
With Lee Gregory and Aston Villa loanee Scott Hogan scoring three apiece in the Championship so far, Stoke City are well within their rights to look for a new striker in January.
The 23-year-old looks like a promising goalscorer in the right age bracket, who still has plenty of time on his side to make significant adjustments to his game.
To that end, the Scottish starlet might not be the most attractive option for Stoke City but he could well provide the Potters with some good value for money if he goes on replicate his goalscoring form south of the border.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Potters are, indeed, in need of some players who could steer them clear of the relegation zone, O’Neill needs to start planning for the long-term.
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Either way, Ross Stewart to Stoke City in January looks like a move that could pay off handsomely for all parties involved.