Stoke City starting XI for next season as Steven Schumacher gets early business done

Stoke City said goodbye to five players from the starting XI which won the last three games of the season in a row and they are not wasting any time trying to fill the spaces.

Goalkeeper Daniel Iversen, right-back Ki-Jana Hoever, centre-half Luke McNally and attacking midfielder Luke Cundle all returned to their parent clubs after loan deals while striker Tyrese Campbell is leaving at the end of his contract.

Junior Tchamadeu was already in the building lined up to take over from Hoever and there will be competition from Lynden Gooch in his first full season at Clayton Wood.

It will be interesting to see just how much Sol Sidibe is pushed forward for the midfield spot. Sidibe is only 17 but his call up to England under-18s this summer was no surprise and he will be a big part of the first team squad in pre-season. Can he share minutes with Jordan Thompson, Wouter Burger, Josh Laurent, Ben Pearson and Lewis Baker?

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Viktor Johansson has joined as number one after Stoke activated a relegation release clause to bring him in from Rotherham United.

Ben Gibson is a new addition to the central defensive department alongside Michael Rose and Ben Wilmot, who have the pace to go with his experience. Will they need another one for a fourth slot? Freddie Anderson and Jaden Dixon are hugely promising prospects in the under-21s with a pathway to consider rather than a Ciaran Clark equivalent.

Enda Stevens has extended his contract at left-back and it will be interesting to see if Steven Schumacher and Jon Walters are tempted to bring in extra cover and competition in that area given his injury record over the last couple of seasons, even if he is confident in his body going forward. It is a long and tough old season in the Championship.

So that leaves a big vacancy up top. Centre-forward seems like the main priority for Stoke over the next two months and it would be fascinating to be a fly on the wall as the recruitment team runs through its options. Ryan Mmaee and Niall Ennis will be desperate to stake their claims while Emre Tezgel and Nathan Lowe try to catch the boss's eye too.

Million Manhoef and Bae Junho were runaway first choices in the wide roles by the end of last season. Will Mehdi Leris and Andre Vidigal be happy with playing deputy? Does Schumacher need another type of option on the wing?

There is still important work to do and there could yet be players leaving as well as definitely more arriving but it is a big contrast to this time last year, when players were preparing to turn up for pre-season and sit in an empty changing room.

What do Stoke still need? Have your say in the comments section