Stoke have always finished in the top half during Mark Hughes' tenure
This season has been much of the same for Stoke City, who have picked up after a slow start and achieved mid-table status with relative ease, although they are at risk of finishing in the bottom half of the table for the first time in four seasons.
A pair of early cup exits and the poor form of loan signing Wilfried Bony, as well as a couple of other new arrivals struggling, will be a source of frustration though and the club will likely look to refresh the squad again this summer in the hope of kicking on.
With that in mind, here are three first team players that looks surplus to requirements.
It’s safe to say Imbula hasn’t lived up to expectations after his record-breaking £18.3 million, according to the Stoke City website, move from Porto a little more than a year ago.
Gianelli Imbula has proved a bust
Despite undoubted talent, he’s fallen well down the pecking order and hasn’t made a league start this calendar year with Hughes relying on Premier League veterans in central midfield.
The Telegraph has reported that Juventus, AS Roma and Olympique Marseille could all be interested in signing the Frenchman this summer, but Stoke look set to make a sizeable loss.
Stoke’s policy of signing high-profile European stars who haven’t fulfilled their potential has paid dividends in multiple cases, but sadly Afellay isn’t one of those.
Ibrahim Afellay celebrates scoring a goal last season, but such positive moments have been rare this term
The injuries that hampered his career before he signed have persisted and the Dutchman, with the exception of a period toward the end of last season, hasn’t been able to enjoy a sustained run in the starting eleven.
He’s made just three league starts this season, mainly featuring from the bench as a bit-part player and, now 31, Stoke need to consider whether it’s time to move on from Afellay.
This is Shay Given's 21st season in the Premier League
Jack Butland is the long-term number one and Lee Grant has proven himself capable at this level, so keeping Given would appear to make little sense for Stoke.
He’s out of contract in the summer, so will almost certainly be off, and at 41 retirement could well be on the cards.
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