There’s only about a month and a half until the 15-16′ global football calendar ends and that means the Summer transfer window will be wide open.
Since leaving Marseille Andre-Pierre Gignac has rejuvenated his career in Mexico scoring 9 goals in Clausura 16′ and netted 23 total in more than 30 matches with the club. However, it’s no secret that Stoke City have made it clear they want to aggressively pursue the Frenchman this Summer and pry him away from Mexican club Tigres.
This would be a win-win opportunity for The Potters and Gignac. Sure, his time in Mexico has been fruitful and given a different fan base a chance to watch a European player who has played in some of Europe’s most prestigious stadiums against high-profile teams. But, you have to be naive to think Gignac was going to stay in Mexico long-term.
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Why it’s a win for Stoke City
The Potters have hovered around mid-table for what seems like forever, always good enough to hang around the premiere league and not bad enough to fight for relegation. So in essence they’re just stuck in the middle. Stoke have lacked a world-class or above average attacker for some time, no forwards screams goals, although Marko Arnautovic comes close. Peter Crouch is a name that seems like a viable option, but then he disappears in the most crucial moments.
Take this chart of Crouch’s attempts on goal against Liverpool over the weekend. He took two shots and both were blocked. Keep in mind Stoke lost 4-1.
The other factor is that in the EPL you need hard-nosed goal scoring machines who will seek out any gap or opportunity. Picking on Crouch one more time, you can see how often he passes back, those are in blue, and in red are failed distributed passes. Stoke’s attack looks to lack fluidity and are not getting the type of offense that Gignac could offer as he has done for Tigres.
Why it’s a win for Gignac
Gignac would love nothing more than to return to Europe, although he still has two years left on his contract going back to European football is too good to pass up, despite the money and successes he’s currently having. Gignac is a dynamic attacker who has an ability to be physical when he needs to be to create for himself and for others.
Take a look at this image for his final match with Marseille last Spring. His ability to continuously think forward and bring a fluid motion to their attack gave them a chance to win.
Gignac would likely relish an opportunity to showcase himself in the EPL, a chance to grow his brand and his ability as now he’s 30-years-old and doesn’t have many years left. Stoke City could definitely take advantage of that at least for the short-term, should they be able to afford it financially, Gignac holds a $20 million release clause in his contract.