Stoke City: Transfer dealings have left squad weakened, admits club management
STOKE City's management team admit their January dealings have weakened their squad for the rest of the season.
The signings of goalkeeper Jack Butland and American international Brek Shea have added youth and quality.
But assistant boss Dave Kemp acknowledges that at least one experienced defender slipped through the club's grasp on deadline day.
Both Blackburn's Scott Dann and Birmingham's Curtis Davies were approached as a replacement following the decision to release central defender Matthew Upson on loan to Brighton – and Bolton left-back Marcos Alonso was also on Stoke's radar.
"We are pleased with the two lads we have signed," said Kemp, "but we are not doing somersaults because we have come up short in other areas.
"There is a concern that we need to add to the group right now because the two we've brought in are for the future.
"We have let two senior players go (Upson and Rory Delap) and so you could argue we are actually weaker.
"We also needed a left-back and a centre-half, which we didn't get. I would have been happier if we could have got a couple of players for the immediate because our squad is unbalanced and we have known that for a while.
"We were hoping this window would put that right, but now we are having to go to the next window."
Kemp, right, denied that Butland's signing for an initial £3m meant Asmir Begovic was on his way in the summer.
"Not necessarily," he stressed. "You are always trying to build the core of quality, young players, that's the manager's policy.
"Jack falls into that and we had the opportunity to sign him. It was the same when we bought Asmir (three years ago). If he progresses, you end up with a top-notch player.
"Asmir has certainly attracted some attention from the top clubs... and so he should because he's one of the top keepers in the country and that's good for the football club.
"And if it puts a spring in Asmir's step, even though he's performing well, then it's all the better for the club."
Butland has returned to Birmingham on loan until the end of the season, then Stoke will assess their goalkeeping situation in the summer before deciding whether to retain the 19-year-old or loan him again.
Kemp revealed that Butland will be seen at Stoke this season, however, after adding: "He will be coming in to train this season to get to know people."
Marc Wilson could launch his playing comeback next week after recovering from the leg he broke on October 27.
Stoke are due to play a Central League Cup tie at Tranmere on Tuesday and Kemp disclosed: "We are hoping he has a reserve game next week, but that's not definite because we have to take medical advice and do it in the right manner."
New signing Brek Shea was travelling with the first-team squad to Arsenal today, but is not eligible to play until he has secured the formality of a Visa.