Stoke City might have finally found Arnautovic’s replacement: A solid alternative?

Transfer story

Marko Arnautovic sealed a 25 million pound move to West Ham United recently. With that, Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is already preparing for life without the Austrian International. Andros Townsend is the man Hughes is after. The English winger has enjoyed a decent spell at Selhurst Park after arriving from Newcastle United for a cut-price fee last summer.

The 26-year old England International is the subject of a 15 million pound bid by the Potters. Although Townsend hasn’t quite lived up to the hype surrounding him in his Tottenham days, Mark Hughes has seen some potential in the winger.

Townsend moved to Crystal Palace in search of Premier League football following relegation from the League with Newcastle a year ago, and impressed in an Eagles shirt. But he only had 3 goals to show for his efforts. He also mustered4 assists. (Via Whoscored)

Marko Arnautovic was a fan favourite at the Britannia Stadium, and his shock transfer request did not go down well with the supporters and his teammates alike. The acquisition of Townsend, however, could ease the pain of losing the maverick Austrian.

Charlie Adam, his teammate at Stoke, warned Marko of the wrath of the West Ham crowd.

He said, “He will need to improve because he’s going to be the record signing, and the West Ham fans, they won’t take anything. They won’t take him not tracking back, covering the full-back, helping his own full-back – they will be on him so he’ll have to improve.”

What will Townsend offer?

While it is certainly a good profit for a player who cost them just 2.5 million pounds, the key issue here is that they will be without one of their main attacking threats this season. Xherdan Shaqiri has immense quality but injuries have plagued his Stoke career. Young Ramadan Sobhi has shown his effervescence but does not come up with the goods consistently.

Stoke need to find a quality replacement, and Andros Townsend might just be the player they are looking for. Stoke are set to table an offer for the winger in the coming days. Townsend has had a good pre-season under new boss Frank De Boer, but it is anyone’s guess as to who the boss might favour for the eagles’ starting line-up when their campaign officially kicks-off against newly-promoted Huddersfield town.

Townsend is the winger Stoke are looking for, with his ability to dribble with the ball and getting in behind the defence some of his specialities. He is also a great first time crosser, which plays into the target-man philosophy which has come to define Stoke in the Premier League.

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