Stoke City contract state of play as Steven Schumacher tries to seal place in Championship

Tyrese Campbell is all smiles in a 3-0 win for Stoke City over Plymouth.
Tyrese Campbell is all smiles in a 3-0 win for Stoke City over Plymouth. -Credit:Getty Images

Stoke City head into one more big job in the final eight days of the season, with another popping up behind ready to be tackled this summer.

Stoke have two more matches left in the Championship, away at Southampton on Saturday followed by a home match against Bristol City a weekend later. A win will secure safety but two, one or no more points could well be enough too, depending on other results in a congested bottom half.

The medium-term picture is to then make sure that Stoke get enough right to make sure that next season is very different. If there will probably never again be a summer quite be like what happened in 2023 - when there were 37 transfer deals in and out - there will still be scope to make significant tweaks. The aim will be to improve and downsize a squad which is currently nudging 30 players.

READ MORE: Tony Pulis tells Jon Walters how to end Stoke transfer nightmare

READ MORE: Winger opens up on confidence, goosebumps and the Dutch connection

There are some decisions which we already know will need to be made. There are five loan players scheduled to return to their parent clubs and nine senior players out of contract, although the Sentinel understands that there is an option to extend Jordan Thompson's deal by 12 months. Talks have pretty much been on hold until Stoke are mathematically certain of their status.

That group includes players such as Ciaran Clark, Wesley, Tom Edwards, Frank Fielding, Blondy Nna Noukeu and D'Margio Wright-Phillips, who between them have not made a league start for Stoke since Steven Schumacher was appointed head coach in mid-December.

Wright-Phillips, aged 22, has done well out on loan at Beerschot in Belgium, winning the second tier title and promotion. Edwards, aged 25, has made six starts this term on loan at Huddersfield Town.

Tyrese Campbell, aged 24, is Stoke's longest-serving senior player but he has been in and out of the side this season, partly due to injuries. making 12 league starts and nine sub appearances. Having been nine-goal top scorer last year, he will be hoping to add to his one goal so far this time around in the remaining two matches - and build on his strong display in a win over Plymouth.

Enda Stevens, aged 33, has made a positive impact at left-back when he has been available but injuries have restricted him to 16 starts up to now. Thompson, aged 27, reached his 150th appearance for Stoke last weekend and has been praised by Schumacher for his consistency and work rate across different positions.

Players and Stoke will have a good idea, in private, about what they want to happen and what will happen but for now the focus is on this final push and keeping Stoke up.

Skeleton Stoke City squad for next season

GK: Jack Bonham, Scott Morris, Tommy Simkin

RB: Junior Tchamadeu

LB: Liam McCarron

CB: Michael Rose, Ben Wilmot, David Okagbue, Matty Baker

CM: Wouter Burger, Josh Laurent, Lewis Baker, Daniel Johnson, Ben Pearson, Sol Sidibe

RW: Million Manhoef, Lynden Gooch, Mehdi Leris

LW: Bae Junho, Andre Vidigal, Nikola Jojic

CF: Ryan Mmaee, Niall Ennis, Nathan Lowe, Emre Tezgel

Out of contract/loan players

Daniel Iversen, Enda Stevens, Ki-Jana Hoever, Luke McNally, Ciaran Clark, Jordan Thompson, Luke Cundle, Sead Haksabanovic, Wesley, Tyrese Campbell, Frank Fielding, Tom Edwards, D’Margio Wright-Phillips, Blondy Nna Noukeu

What should Stoke do? Have your say in the comments section