Robbie Earle: Brek Shea can shine at Stoke City in midfield
I CAN see Brek Shea being a success at Stoke City, but as a left-sided midfielder not a full-back.
There has been some speculation about where Tony Pulis will use his new £2.5m signing because Shea has played out wide, at left-back and even up front for Dallas.
Because Shea is 6ft 2in and Stoke are a little short of full-backs, people are wondering whether he'll end up in Tony Pulis's defence.
But I've seen the 22-year-old play a lot in Major League Soccer and I would be surprised if he ends up as a full-back.
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Physically he could do it, but that's just the start of it. Full-backs also have the right focus and concentration to defensive duties.
In fact, I think adjusting to the defensive side of the game as a left-sided midfielder will be Shea's biggest challenge as he makes the transition from the MLS to the Premier League.
When I have seen Shea I think he tends to come alive when he has the ball or his team are in possession.
I am sure Tony Pulis and his staff will be drilling him on the defensive side of his game because the wingers at Stoke have to do more running than anyone.
Don't get me wrong, I think Stoke have pulled off a good deal to sign the United States international.
In fact he reminds me of what Gareth Bale was like a couple of years ago.
I am not saying Shea is as good as £50m-rated Bale, but let's not forget the Spurs man also took time to adjust to the Premier League.
For a while, Spurs never won a game under Harry Redknapp whenever Bale started.
Like Bale, Shea is a great athlete and a strong runner down the left. He can smash the ball with that left foot of his or clip in a cross.
He lost his way a little bit at Dallas, but has bags of ability and was seen as a golden boy of United States soccer when he first broke through from the college game.
Stoke will have been persuaded to move for Shea after Geoff Cameron made a smooth transition from the MLS, although I have to say I don't think City fans have seen the best of him yet.
Cameron's versatility has helped him get into the Stoke team at full-back, but that's not his best position.
He's played well for the United States in central defence and I have seen him absolutely run games from central midfield for his former club Houston.
In my opinion, Cameron is a player who is much better when he has the freedom of playing in a central position.
Full-back is a specialist position and it's testament to Cameron's ability that he done okay there since moving to Stoke.
In the long term, though, Stoke will get the best out of him if they use him in a central role.