Why Stoke City should move for Rhian Brewster and Curtis Jones on loan
According to Bleacher Report journalist Dean Jones (h/t Stoke Sentinel), Stoke City have contacted Liverpool over the loan availability of academy prospects Rhian Brewster and Curtis Jones.
Liverpool are keen to send the likes of Jones and Brewster out on loan, preferably to a Championship club, before the end of the month to enhance their development. (h/t Stoke Sentinel)
As per the report, Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill is looking to reshape his squad during the mid-season trading period and has identified the likes of Jones and Brewster as young and exciting players who could help the Potters in their bid for survival in the Championship.
Brewster has also been linked with Aston Villa and Swansea, who have also expressed an interest in securing the services of Jones on loan before the end of the month.
Brewster shot to prominence while playing for England U-17s at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India where he was instrumental in the Young Lions’ triumphant campaign, finishing as the tournament’s top-scorer and winning the Golden Boot award in the process.
The 19-year-old, who signed his first professional contract with Liverpool in 2018, has seen his progress thwarted by injuries but he was eventually handed his senior debut for Liverpool against MK Dons in a League Cup tie back in September.
Despite bursting on to the scene for England U-21s last year, Brewster has struggled to establish himself in a substantial first-team role at Anfield in the Premier League, with Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi all ahead of him in the pecking order.
Jones, who made his senior debut against Wolves in the FA Cup last season, featured against MK Dons and Arsenal in the Reds’ EFL Cup campaign this term before being handed his Premier League and Champions League debut against Bournemouth and RB Salzburg respectively in December.
Meanwhile, Stoke City breathed some life back into their tottering campaign with a 5-2 demolition of Huddersfield Town on New Year’s Day, thanks to goals from Lee Gregory, Nick Powell, Sam Vokes and a brace from youngster Tyrese Campbell.
The Potters, though, are currently placed 21st in the standings, just a point clear of the relegation zone, and O’Neill clearly has his work cut out in ensuring another season of Championship football at the Bet365 Stadium.
To that end, the club’s business in the January window could hold the key to their chances of beating the drop in the second-tier this term, and as per the report, the manager has already hinted at a few changes to the squad.
Having shipped 42 goals so far, Stoke City undoubtedly need to improve on their defensive displays from the first half of the campaign if they are to give themselves a chance of ensuring survival.
However, they also need to add more goals to their squad, while a reshuffling of the midfield options could also make a lot of sense.
To put things into perspective, Rhian Brewster and Curtis Jones don’t really have a lot of professional experience under their belt, but their obvious quality and youthful exuberance could add that much-needed X-Factor and inspiration to Stoke City’s ranks.
With Lee Gregory, Sam Vokes and Scott Hogan sharing only 10 goals among them in the Championship so far, Stoke City can certainly do with a bit more cover in front of goal, and Rhian Brewster could solve a big problem for the Potters if he manages to hit top gear.
Tyrese Campbell has turned in some impressive displays in recent weeks but it won’t be a bad idea for O’Neill to bring in Brewster to increase competition for places, given that his potential has been there for everybody to see.
As far as the midfield is concerned, Peter Etebo is on the verge of sealing a loan exit (h/t Daily Mail) after falling out of favour under O’Neill while Badou Ndiaye is another player with question marks over his future.
Joe Allen has been identified as a target by David Moyes at West Ham (h/t Express) and Stoke City might have to cash in on some of their high-profile players to avoid falling foul of FFP regulations.
To that end, someone like Curtis Jones, who has bagged 8 goals and 3 assists in 12 appearances for Liverpool’s U-23 side at the Premier League 2 level, could be an exciting addition to Stoke City’s midfield.
Profiled by the Liverpool Echo as a dynamic and energetic central midfielder, capable of both running a midfield from deep or influencing the game higher up the field, the 19-year-old has also illustrated a deadly eye for goals and assists this season. His arrival at the Bet365 Stadium could add another dimension to O’Neill’s tactics.
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With that in mind, Stoke City completing loan deals for Curtis Jones and Rhian Brewster would hand a massive boost to their bid for survival in the Championship.