Mark Hughes accepts he needs to sign a new striker during the January transfer window, to avoid seeing his Stoke City side dragged into a relegation fight.
The Potters have long struggled when it comes to scoring in the Premier League, particularly in the last two seasons when they have racked up just 34 and 36 goals. And it looks as though this problem has not been solved during the current campaign, at least not yet, as they have recorded just 18 goals from their first 19 fixtures.
Charlie Adam, a midfield player, is their leading goalscorer with four to his name, whilst their leading striker is Peter Crouch with three. And with the Britannia Stadium side just five points above the relegation zone, Hughes knows he will need to add to his attacking options if he is to ensure his team are not dragged into a battle to beat the drop.
“It’s well-documented that we are looking to add to our options in attack,” he said. “We weren’t able to do that in the summer, but we will try again in January. But there’s no-one definitely in the pipeline at the moment and so it may be a long window for us.”
Former Manchester United striker Mame Biram Diouf has long been linked with a move to Stoke, and Hughes may look to offer him another crack at the Premier League. Having failed to impress at Old Trafford, or in a loan spell at Blackburn Rovers, the 26-year-old has had better luck in Germany, with 23 goals in 50 goals for Hannover. The Senegal international is out of contract in the summer, so could be available on the cheap.
Another reported target if Holland international Luuk de Jong, currently of Borussia Monchengladbach. The 23-year-old was a prolific scored in his homeland with FC Twente, but has struggled since making a club record €15million move to his current club, for whom he has scored just six times in 36 games and has yet to start this season.