Why Stoke could benefit from Manchester City’s Bony deal

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Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is set to launch an audacious raid on his old club in a bid to sign Edin Dzeko on loan.

The Manchester City striker is likely to struggle for game time once the Citizen’s £30m capture of Swansea’s Wilfried Bony is complete.

Hughes is in the market for attacking options after seeing Oussama Assaidi cut short his loan spell with the club in order to sign permanently for Dubai-based oufit Al-Ahli.

Dzeko is likely to have a number of potential suitors, having scored 69 goals in 172 games since moving to the Etihad in 2010, but Hughes is willing to offer the Bosnian a temporary home while he decides on his future.

The chances of the Potters holding on to the 28-year-old beyond the current campaign look slim, with Roma and Valencia just two of the clubs rumoured to interested in a permanent deal.

However, with Stoke facing mid-table obscurity, Hughes is said to be tempted to make a cheeky loan bid in order to give his side a fighting chance of reaching the European places come the end of the season.

The Potters are not short of striking options but with Mame Biram Diouf the club’s top scorer with five strikes from 19 games there is definitely room for someone of Dzeko’s quality.

Stoke currently sit 11th in the Premier League and are seemingly safe from a relegation scrap – as odds of 40/1 suggest.

But if Hughes wants to mount a serious assault on the top six – a feat also currently priced at 40/1 – then a spike in goals is required.

The Britannia Stadium outfit have netted just 22 goals from the 21 games they have played so far, with Jonathan Walters (4), Peter Crouch (4), Bojan (3) and Marko Arnautovic (0) in particular failing to deliver consistently.

Dzeko has reached double figures in each of the last three seasons and could be just the man to give Stoke a boost and after falling down the pecking order just may be interested in what Hughes has to say.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.