Despite a healthy ninth-placed finish in last season’s Premier League, goals were hard to come by for Stoke City – with only five sides netting fewer times than the Potters. But reports are emerging that Mark Hughes could be about to soothe their striker woes with the signing of Ruben Sobrino from Manchester City.
Like current Stoke stars Bojan and Marc Muniesa, the 24-year-old forward came through the ranks at one of Spanish football’s giants – though in Sobrino’s case, it was Real Madrid, not Barcelona, where he cut his teeth.
The imposing forward joined the Citizens last summer but was loaned out to Spanish side Girona in November 2015, where he impressed, netting several times for Albirrojos as they narrowly missed out on promotion to La Liga.
Powerful, pacy and a decent finisher, he may not carry the weight of a name like Bojan or Giannelli Imbula, but with Transfermarkt.co.uk estimating his value at £340k, his undeniable talent and modest price tag would certainly make him an excellent squad option for the Staffordshire outfit.
And with three Spaniards already in the Potters squad, the Daimiel native could well be tempted to link up with his compatriots, so there’s a good chance of Hughes poaching a bargain buy from the club where he spent 18 months as manager between 2008-09.
The Potters will be looking to build on last season’s top-half finish, and new acquisitions like Sobrino would certainly be a step in the right direction. It’s 33/1 they secure a top-four spot in next season’s Premier League, while ambitious fans can back Hughes’ men to ‘do a Leicester’ and lift the title at 350/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing