Luke Cundle boosted by first Stoke City goal ahead of Plymouth Argyle reunion

Luke Cundle will be hoping his first Stoke City goal earns him a starting place against Plymouth Argyle in a vital Championship clash at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

The 21-year-old midfielder spent the first half of this season on loan to the Pilgrims from Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers and netted five times in a total of 16 starts and 11 substitute appearances. Cundle was then reunited with Steven Schumacher, after he had left Argyle for Stoke shortly before Christmas, when he was recalled from his loan at Home Park by Wolves and went to the Potters instead.

He has gone on to make eight starts and five substitute appearances, and he got his first City goal when he came off the bench in the away game against Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend and scored a 76th minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw.

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Schumacher said after the match: "It's been difficult for everyone since January. I knew what type of player Luke is, he was with us at the start of the season with Argyle, and he's a fantastic footballer, plays in little pockets of space and in teams that play that way he can be really effective.

"The last couple of months it's been tough for him to get loads of game time because our performances have required two more holding type of midfielders but he was brilliant actually against Hull and has been unfortunate not to start since then. He's a great lad, never sulks, trains brilliantly every day, comes on (against Wednesday) and makes a big impact. Credit to him for that.”

Schumacher added: “It was a great goal. I thought he was going to pass it at one point but he showed really good composure and finish to get it past a young keeper (James Beadle) who is a really good young goalie. I'm really pleased for him.”

Cundle is not the only former Pilgrims' player in the Stoke squad. Striker Niall Ennis was signed from Blackburn Rovers at the end of the winter transfer window and has gone on to make seven starts and five substitute appearances and has scored one goal.

The 24-year-old had left Argyle for Blackburn last summer but managed just one goal in 13 games for Rovers, which included four starts.

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