Stoke Focus – Pulis shifts attention to Adam in his search for midfield craft

The transfer window closes tomorrow and the rush is on for Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis as they attempt to bring some much needed fresh blood to the squad. The cut-price signing of defensive midfielder Maurice Edu from crisis-club Rangers has finally been secured but that is unlikely to pacify fans calling for more creativity in the centre of the park.

So when news broke on Wednesday night via the the BBC that Stoke had bid £5m for Liverpool’s Charlie Adam, it was music to the ears of Stoke supporters. The same supporters had heralded the signing of Tom Huddlestone last week only for the player to fail a medical and the transfer to be shelved.

Pulis appears to have at last listened to the supporters. Stoke has been established as a Premier League club for a couple of seasons now and both fans and pundits have called for a different kind of player to be introduced at the Britannia. One that did not have to be a lightweight luxury, but one that simply added a little more creativity than with all due respect, the likes of Glen Whelan and Dean Whitehead. The likes of Adam and Huddlestone fit that mould.

The question is will £5m be enough to secure Adam from Liverpool? The Merseysiders may have overpaid for the Scotsman last summer but a £4m loss will be difficult to accept, particularly with other interested parties such as Fenerbahce able to produce a better offer. Stoke have encountered similar problems with their moves for Michael Dawson and Jermain Defoe this summer.

It has been no secret that Stoke chairman Peter Coates, having backed Pulis in the transfer market since Stoke arrived in the Premier League, has reigned in the spending at the Britannia. Pulis has spent the summer shopping for bargains, such as Edu and free transfers such as Michael Owen, a “saga” which has become drawn out while the Potteries wait for Owen to seemingly get a better offer.

There have certainly been no Wilson Palacios’ or Peter Crouchs arriving at the Britannia this summer. Yet Stoke’s underwhelming and frankly, dull start to the season has clearly showcased the need for a sprinkling of stardust on Pulis‘ workman-like squad.

Charlie Adam may not be the tidiest or quickest player but what he would bring to Stoke in terms of passing ability, creativity and excellent set pieces would take Stoke’s midfield play onto another level. Bidding only £5m for him however and most likely asking him to take a wage cut shows how Pulis is essentially fighting with one hand tied behind his back.

The Welshman has worked wonders with Stoke to keep them in the Premier League but it must not be forgotten how he was allowed to dip into the transfer market in January 2009 and save what had been up to then, a struggle of a season. Perhaps while the transfer window remains open, Peter Coates should remember that.

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