Stoke City make key appointment as transfer chief unveiled

Lee Darnbrough is new head of recruitment at Stoke City.
-Credit: (Image: Hull Daily Mail)

Lee Darnbrough is the new head of recruitment at Stoke City. The 46-year-old is ending a seven-year stay at Championship rivals Hull to take up a key role at Clayton Wood, where he will replace Jared Dublin at the start of another pivotal summer transfer window.

He will work alongside sporting director Jon Walters, head coach Steven Schumacher and recruitment analysts Scott Coomber and Mama Sidibe to try to haul the club back up towards the Premier League.

Stoke had been keen to bring in an experienced figure for an important job and Darnbrough ticks that box, having also previously worked at West Bromwich Albion, Burnley and Norwich City. He has also studied sports directorship at Manchester Met, graduating with distinction.

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Walters said: “We’re thrilled to have Lee on board. Bringing over 20 years of experience in the football industry and being well versed in Championship football, Lee will be able to hit the ground running at Stoke City as we prepare for the upcoming summer transfer window and beyond.

“His extensive network and knowledge of both the domestic and international markets will make him a valuable asset as we build our squad for the future.”

Darnbrough was a highly-rated youth goalkeeper himself but had to retire from professional football at the age of 19 due to a badly-broken wrist. He is tasked with helping to shape recruitment decisions, which have come under intense scrutiny over the last seven or eight years as Stoke have been sucked into the bottom half of the Championship.

Stoke have already signed Viktor Johansson as new goalkeeper, triggering a relegation release clause to bring him in from Rotherham. They are also believed to be closing in on a deal for centre-half Ben Gibson, who is a free agent as he leaves Norwich.

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