After an unusually poor defensive record last season, Stoke City boss Mark Hughes has gone full throttle in his attempt to fix the Potters’ backline.
Having already secured the services of two talented defensive recruits in this window, it’s now looking more than likely he’ll add another, with Club Brugge centre-back Bjorn Engels 8/11 to join Stoke this summer.
The 22-year-old has greatly impressed for the Belgian club since making his debut in 2012, making 96 appearances to date. In that period, he’s helped Blau-Zwart lift cup and league honours, with 2016’s title triumph their first in 11 years.
However, he now seems set for pastures new, with Stoke having tabled an £8.5m bid for the Kaprijke native.
A bruising presence at the heart of defence, the 6ft 4in centre-half is dominant in the air, as well as confident on the ball. Engels also offers a threat at the other end, recording 12 goals to date for FCB, as well as netting on his Belgium U21 debut in September 2016.
With the Staffordshire club having already secured a permanent deal for previous Potters’ loanee Bruno Martins Indi and bagged Chelsea prodigy Kurt Zouma on loan for the season, things are looking up right now.
Stoke City are 11/5 to win away at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, while fans buoyed by the club’s increasingly strong defensive options could be tempted by the 13/8 for a top-half finish this season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing