Opinion: Stoke City should consider loan switch for 22-year-old to avoid stagnation in development | OneFootball
Opinion: Stoke City should consider loan switch for 22-year-old to avoid stagnation in development
Football League World
Alfie Doughty has not managed a single start in the Championship for Stoke City this season and therefore should be loan listed ahead of Monday’s deadline.
The 22-year-old, who signed from Charlton Athletic last January, only recovered from a long term hamstring injury after the opening stretch of this campaign.
The versatile left sider could be perfect for a left wing back role in Michael O’Neill’s three at the back system, but is evidently behind Morgan Fox and Josh Tymon in the pecking order.
His prospects of earning regular opportunities for the Potters look bleak in the coming months and in looking to protect their asset, Doughty should be sent out to play first team football rather than being allowed to stagnate on the bench or in the reserves.
Stoke have made four additions this month, further bolstering the depth of their squad in looking to hunt down a play-off spot, making it even more comfortable for them to loan out Doughty.
The 22-year-old was influential for Charlton in the opening exchanges of 2020/21 before the major hamstring tear, and should be granted the opportunity to test his skillset again either at the top end of the third tier or at a club battling for survival in the Championship.
The Potters have conducted a lot of unsuccessful transfer business, in this their fourth season since relegation from the Premier League, to address that issue they should look at their treatment of fringe players and how they can make them more valuable assets.
Doughty is the case in point, looking at his current trajectory, his value is only set to depreciate between now and his deal expiring in the summer of 2024.
Quiz: Did any of these 25 ex-Stoke City players ever get a red card during their time at the club?
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Did ex-Stoke player Charlie Adam ever get a red card during his time at the club?
Doughty has only made 27 league starts in the EFL at this point in his career, some players have already managed that this season, deputising to Fox and Tymon will not improve his game in the coming months.
Stoke are a way off promotion contention at this stage, for Doughty to be a more reliable player in a potential promotion push next season, he needs to make the most of the second half of this term, such that does not seem possible at the bet365 Stadium at present.
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