Stoke to address problem left back area with Championship star

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Stoke are set to make a bid for Blackburn’s Swedish international defender Martin Olsson when the January transfer window re-opens.

The Potters, who are 8/5 to finish the season above West Brom and Aston Villa to claim the mantle of top the nation’s top Midlands club, have been in the market for a left back since the previous season ended.

They are thought to be weighing up a loan move for Olsson with a view to a permanent transfer in the summer.

If left back was regarded as a problem area in the Stoke ranks, this was intensified by the news that man who regularly occupies that berth, Mark Wilson, is facing an extended spell on the sidelines after breaking his leg in his side’s 0-0 extravaganza with Sunderland last time out.

As well as experience at international level, having been capped 13 times for his country, Olsson was one of the few positives to come out of Blackburn’s ill-fated 2011/12 Premier League campaign, establishing a reputation as one of the best attacking full backs to ply his trade away from the division’s ‘big six’.

Whether his all-action style will fit in with Stoke’s bludgeoning long ball game is another issue as, for the majority of their four-and-a-bit-year stint in the top flight, they have employed four central defenders across the back.

Their full backs, traditionally, are not required to be adept in possession, have any real pace and crossing ability is irrelevant; if they can put a crunching tackle in on an advancing winger and welly the ball the full length of the pitch for a gaggle of forwards to get underneath, then they’re good enough.

A modern day full back, Olsson is about as un-Stoke as Lionel Messi, yet his desire to return to England’s top flight could see him make the temporary move in January.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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