•  Stoke City may turn to Andrew Omobamidele if they can’t sign Charlie Cresswell from Leeds United.
  •  Stoke has shown interest in Cresswell before, but his high price tag may be a hindrance.
  •  Omobamidele could be a good alternative on loan, providing an immediate solution to Stoke’s defensive depth.

Stoke City could turn to Nottingham Forest’s Andrew Omobamidele if they cannot land long-term target Charlie Cresswell from Leeds United.

The Potters enter the weekend in 19th position in the Championship at the halfway point in the season and risk being drawn into a relegation battle with 22nd placed Sheffield Wednesday turning a corner under new manager Danny Rohl.

To ensure they escape a nail-biting conclusion to the season, defensive reinforcements could be needed. The Staffordshire side only have four natural centre-backs, one of which being the 34-year-old Ciaran Clark, signed as a free agent in October last year.

A couple of injuries could see the Potters’ defensive unit stretched, so the January transfer window might be the ideal time to bolster their backline.

Stoke City interest in Cresswell

Stoke’s link to Cresswell is not new, with the side exploring the potential of a move on deadline day last January, whilst the defender was on loan at Millwall.

That deal did not go any further at the time, but the club actively exploring the potential of bringing the 21-year-old to the Bet365 Stadium shows that they are aware of his talents and how he may suit the side.

The young defender penned a new four-year deal at Elland Road last summer, but has since made his dissatisfaction with the lack of first-team football with Leeds known, and an exit from the Yorkshire side could be on the cards.

He has made just six appearances in all competitions for Leeds this year. Charlie Cresswell has not featured regularly for Leeds in recent months and may look for a move away from the club

Cresswell fee could be an issue

As a young player with a fresh long-term contract, the Whites are in no hurry to sell, leading to reports in the Yorkshire Evening Post emerging that the club will hold out for his full market value in any permanent deal, believed to be around £4-5million.

That figure may be prohibitive to many Championship sides, including Stoke, which has led to links with the likes of Blackburn Rovers for a loan deal instead.

With the talented player making his frustration known, there is likely to be no shortage of interest from clubs. This, coupled with his high price tag, may lead the Potters to look elsewhere. Blackburn have dropped off in terms of league position in the last month or two and that could benefit Leeds United.

Omobamidele could be the ideal alternative on loan

One candidate that Steven Schumacher’s side may want to explore as an alternative is Omobamidele, who left Championship side Norwich City last summer to join Forest in the Premier League following a break-out season, in a deal that could reportedly rise to £20million, according to Eastern Daily Press.

Since his move, the 21-year-old is yet to make a senior appearance, having only made his way into the squad twice so far in the Premier League this season. It’s since been reported that the Irishman could well be available for a loan in the winter window.

 

Omobamidele in the Championship as per Transfermarkt
Season Apps
2022/23 34
2021/22 5

It is therefore likely that the East Midlands club would be open to a loan deal for the rest of the season for their young prospect, ensuring he isn’t too far away from first-team football for too long.

This deal would work for Stoke, as, although it would not be a permanent solution to their lack of depth in the centre of defence, it would solve the issue for the remainder of the season, and they would be getting a defender with proven Championship experience for what promises to be a tough run-in up until the summer.

That’s rather than splashing the cash on Cresswell, who would be a long-term investment, in a window that’s notoriously difficult to get value for money.