With Stoke languishing in 19th after seven games, using the mid-season transfer window wisely seems increasingly important if the Potters are to avoid a prolonged relegation dogfight.
One of the glaring weaknesses in the early days of their Premier League campaign has been Stoke’s lack of reliable goalscorers.
The unlikely source of Joe Allen is responsible for netting two of only five league goals scored by Mark Hughes’ side (a joint top-flight low) with none of recognised centre-forward options Wilfried Bony, Mame Biram Diouf or Peter Crouch hitting the target.
The woeful form of Bony, on loan from Manchester City, is particularly troublesome for Hughes who could have rightly expected far more from the Ivorian frontman who cost his parent club £25m in January 2015.
Unable to place his faith in any of his misfiring strikers, it’s also a frustrating reminder to the Welshman that he missed out on his biggest summer target.
Such bluntness in attack is also likely to be a catalyst for renewed interest in Saido Berahino in January.
West Brom rebuffed a £20m offer for their England U21 star from the Potters in July amid claims from Baggies manager Tony Pulis that it would take a vast sum to prise his player away from the Hawthorns.
Whatever astronomical figure Pulis had in mind can only be decreasing in value now however, as the former Stoke boss does not appear to be placing much trust in his charge either.
Berahino has only been on the pitch for 245 of 630 minutes of Premier League action so far, latterly an unused substitute in successive top-tier assignments and remains goalless.
The corresponding scenarios at either club should make for pretty fertile ground for a transfer come January, though this would not be the first time such seemingly complimentary circumstances have counted for nothing.
At the international break, the Staffordshire outfit are priced at 11/4 for the drop.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing