Stoke City got themselves relegated to the Championship after a horrendous campaign in the top flight last season. With Gary Rowett at the helm of the bet365 Stadium now, the Potters are breathing a new life. They have been active this summer and have already signed some notable players like James McClean, Benik Afobe and Oghenekaro Etebo.
Rowett is keen to tighten the screws at the back and as per one of the latest reports by Stoke Sentinel, he has put Aston Villa centre-back, James Chester, on his radar. BBC has reported that Stoke City have seen their bid of £5million get rejected by the Villans but are still in contention to land him. It would be intriguing to see how this transfer saga unfolds in the coming days.
Strong Partnership With Terry
Chester formed an excellent camaraderie with John Terry at the heart of the back line of Steve Bruce’s side last season. The resilience that the duo offered was one of the main reasons why Aston Villa made it to the final of the play-offs. Agonizingly, they couldn’t cross the last hurdle as Fulham got the third and final ticket to the Premier League.
The 29-year-old mustered 49 appearances in the English second division last season, during which he scored 4 goals and garnered 1 assist. Besides, he manoeuvred 1.4 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 7.7 clearances and 0.9 blocks per game on an average. He is one of the prized assets in the ranks of the Lions and Bruce must be reluctant to strike him off their books.
Chester is thoroughly accustomed to English football and that should come handy for Stoke City this season if they manage to sign him. A product of Manchester United’s youth academy, he made loan moves to Peterborough United, Plymouth Argyle and Carlisle United before signing permanently for Hull City. After that, he switched to West Bromwich Albion and eventually moved to the Villa Park in the summer transfer window of 2016.
A Shrewd Defender
The Welsh international is a calm and composed player at the back. He is a tough tackler and an excellent reader of the attacking endeavours of the opposition. He carries the ball out from the back and is a threat in the opposition box during set-pieces. Rowett does need a leader at the back who can marshall his troops on the pitch and considering the attributes that Chester possesses, he would be an astute signing for Stoke City.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored