Mark Hughes has continued to see support to be the next Stoke manager and as a result he has now shortened even further into 1/1 to be named as the successor to Tony Pulis.
Hughes’ all-round woeful stint in charge of QPR has largely dampened his stock in the eyes of many, but it is worth remembering that in his five complete Premier League seasons, he has secured top-half finishes on every occasion.
The big problem for Stoke is that chairman Peter Coates reportedly wants the next manager to improve the club’s record in the transfer market.
It has become fairly common knowledge that Stoke’s Premier League net spending under Pulis in the last five years is surprisingly high, making a loss of somewhere in the region of £80m.
Only Manchester City and Chelsea are worse off in this period and it has been in attack where Stoke have wasted the most money, failing to get any regular source of goals from the likes of Dave Kitson, Tuncay, Kenwyne Jones or Peter Crouch, who all cost at least £5m.
However, based on Hughes’ recent record, success in the transfer market is hardly something that will feature too highly on his resume.
At QPR, good money has been spent on players including Bobby Zamora, Nedum Onuoha, Samba Diakhite and Esteban Granero with marginal success.
His record at Manchester City wasn’t great either, with Jo, Wayne Bridge, Roque Santa Cruz and Kolo Toure all being major wastes of money, alongside Emmanuel Adebayor.
His decisions to sell Elano and Daniel Sturridge in particular at Man City appeared illogical too.
It is worth noting that Hughes has pulled off the odd shrewd bit of business with Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta arriving at Man City and he brought Mousa Dembele to Fulham.
But his transfer record at his last three clubs displays more harm than good and if this is a big factor in the decision of who is to be the next Stoke boss, picking Hughes would be a bold move.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication