Stoke City: Candidates to replace Kenwyne - Danny Graham, Carlton Cole and Mario Balotelli?
Kenwyne Jones has gone from an ever-present on the Stoke subs’ bench to arguably their most potent striker in just a few short weeks.
Who might Stoke bring in to replace him if he is sold?
DANNY GRAHAM (Swansea City)
Largely surplus to requirements since Michael Laudrup’s arrival, it seems, and would be a close-ish fit to Kenwyne Jones.
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He appears to contain the physical attributes and the desire that would appeal to Tony Pulis.
Would also come with a decent pedigree after 14 goals in 39 appearances in his debut season in the Premier League in 2011/12.
Has struggled to repeat that consistency this term, but has suddenly popped up with four in his last six games by way of a timely reminder to any suitors out there.
The problem for Stoke is that Sunderland have already made an offer and Graham happens to come from that part of the world.
CARLTON COLE (West Ham)
Seems to have been around forever, but still only 29.
Tony Pulis was big into him once-upon-a-time, but has the moment passed?
Well, he fits the bill on paper in terms of being a straight replacement for Jones.
But would Sam Allardyce release him right now after including him in 19 league games one way or another this season.
And does Cole still have the motivation to push Stoke forward again over the next season or two?
BOBBY ZAMORA (QPR)
There was a time when Tony Pulis would have sold his beloved baseball cap to get this one to the Potteries.
Stoke were probably too small for Zamora back in 2005, but are they too big for him in 2012?
Now 32 – he shared Pulis’ birthday last Wednesday – he began this season with four goals in five games.
But problems with form and fitness have since left him a bystander to QPR’S downward spiral.
Might not be worth a long-term deal, but a loan move perhaps?
GRANT HOLT (Norwich)
Not the most mobile in the world, true, but when has that ever been a first consideration for a Stoke striker?
He’ll be 32 in April, so not about to get any quicker, but did more than hold his own in his first season in the Premier League.
His second hasn’t been quite so eye-catching, however, after four league goals in 19 appearances.
Sorry Grant, but the moment may have gone.
PETER ODEMWINGIE (West Brom)
Not exactly a like-for-like replacement for Jones, but you wouldn’t mind his pace in Stoke’s forward line, particularly if Cameron Jerome’s days are numbered in these parts too.
Used to be an Albion favourite, but not under new boss Steve Clarke it seems, and that’s why QPR nipped in with a bid last weekend.
DARREN BENT (Aston Villa)
Again, not a straight replacement for Jones, but you wouldn’t pass up the chance of a proven goalscorer with a point to prove.
Especially if it was a short-term move on loan.
Long since fallen off Paul Lambert’s Christmas card list, but there would be serious competition for his signature if he was put up for sale.
Remains a long shot therefore.
MARIO BALOTELLI (Man City)
He just needs to be loved and understood.
Go on Tone, see if you can get him, because it wouldn’t half ignite the back pages every morning.
No, this isn’t being disrespectful, it’s just anyone’s guess who any overseas signing might be.
There was a time when Pulis wouldn’t touch the foreign market with a barge pole, but times have changed and you certainly wouldn’t rule out a loan option before the end of January.