Stoke City have signed Bojan to a four-and-a-half year contract extension that’s being overrated all across the football world
Stoke City have inked Bojan to a contract extension that is being widely celebrated all across the internet. Who knew that Stoke City managing to lock up an average Premier League attacker was such a terrific move?
The club announced the news on their official website that Bojan is now locked up through 2020. Everyone at the club, and in fact all around the football world, seems to believe this is great business by the Potters.
While I’m not panning the move, I’m not clear on why it deserves such universal praise. We’re talking about a contract extension for the eighth highest rated statistical player per whoscored.com for the eleventh place team in the Premier League. This isn’t a slam dunk like Neymar re-signing with Barcelona folks. This might be an OK move depending on the compensation, but there are some serious red flags here.
While I like Bojan as a player, I’m not convinced he’s a smart long-term investment for Stoke. He has a sordid history of injury and has failed to cement his place at a number of clubs. While it’s fair to say that lots of talented footballers might struggle to nail down a spot at Ajax and Barcelona, there’s also the issue of the attacker’s recent form.
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He hasn’t posted a Whoscored.com player rating over 7 since late December. That means that in his last four Premier League matches his performance has been below league average. Admittedly, that’s a small sample size to judge a player on, but so is his good run of form to start the season. I can’t help but wonder if Stoke have been seduced by his skill on the ball to the point that they’ve ignored his struggle to produce actual goals.
5 goals in 19 Premier League appearances isn’t a great return for a player who normally plays either as a striker or an attacking midfielder for the Potters. The lack of goals could be excused if he was creating a great deal for others, but it’s hard to say he’s done that given his one assist on the season. Bojan may just be one of those players that looks better than he actually is.
If that’s the case, then Stoke have made an error in extending his contract at the height of his value. They could have easily waited several more weeks to see if his form would turn up again before agreeing to a deal. Instead, they gave in to his contract demands when they had all the negotiating leverage. It may turn out OK, but this isn’t a great business practice.
Bojan may turn out to be a great player for Stoke, and in truth, I like watching him play. I just question the timing and universal acclaim of what I view to be a pretty risky contract extension.