Stoke City: Midfielder's contract a no-brainer for Steven . . .
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Stoke City: Midfielder’s contract a no-brainer for Steven Schumacher.

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Jordan Thompson has stepped up for Stoke City this season, and the club should aim to keep him after his contract expires this summer.

 

The 27-year-old just played his 150th game for the Potters, having joined from Blackpool in January 2020 to work with then-Stoke manager Michael O’Neill, under whom he had previously played at international level for Northern Ireland.

Thompson has 37 caps for his country and has been utilized as a utility player by the three Stoke managers over the last five years.

He is out of contract at the conclusion of the 2023/24 season, but the club apparently has the option to extend his contract for another year, according to StokeOnTrentLive.

He is a left-footed defensive midfielder by trade, but he has found himself playing left-back more frequently this season when Enda Stevens’ calf injury sidelined him for three months, with no immediate backup at the club.

He has found form since Steven Schumacher arrived in December, appearing in 18 of the 22 league games he has managed thus far, compared to 12 of the previous 22 games this season under former manager Alex Neil and interim manager Paul Gallagher.

Thompson the man to rely on

Thompson is now in his fourth full season in the Potteries, having started 23 games in all competitions this season, a total only surpassed by his 29 starts in 2020/21 as the team finished 14th.

Originally a Manchester United youth product, he joined Rangers in 2015 and appeared three times for the Scottish giants over three seasons, including loan spells at Raith Rovers and Livingston.

He then earned his reputation as an aggressive, tough-tackling midfielder while at Blackpool in League One from 2018 to 2020, before Stoke rushed to bring him to the bet365 Stadium.

He has frequently been used as a rotational player during his tenure with the Potters, but he recently received plaudits from manager Steven Schumacher for shining in a 3-0 win over Plymouth Argyle, which helped stave off Championship relegation and nearly saw the team through another season.

“He’s been really good, JT, since we’ve come here. I think he’s been really consistent,” he said.

“He’s played nearly all the time, he’s played at left-back for us, he’s played at wing-back for us, and against Plymouth he showed the quality that he’s got. That’s obviously his preferred position.

““He was brilliant. He showed what a good player he is. In the first half, he got on the ball and kept things ticking, and for him to play 150 games for this club is really good and I’m sure he’ll play some more.”

No-brainer for the boss

According to Capology projections, Steven Schumacher’s choice to extend Thompson’s contract for another season is expected to be uncomplicated, especially given that he is one of the club’s lowest-paid players.

Ben Pearson, Thompson’s direct positional rival and perhaps the player most similar to him in the squad, has not had the season he would have liked in the Potteries since making a permanent loan move from Bournemouth last summer, and this has been due in part to Thompson’s form pushing him ahead of Pearson in the pecking order for a starting spot.

Pearson had only started four games under Schumacher before suffering a hamstring injury against Norwich, which effectively ended his season with eight games remaining.

Schumacher will also likely want to keep some of the club’s long-serving players, as he only joined in December, and Thompson is only second in club appearances in the current squad to Tyrese Campbell (158), who is also out of contract this summer.

If Stoke decides to extend Thompson’s contract and he is left to accept or find a new club, he will most likely be lining up in red and white again next season, with a young family settled nearby and the opportunity to play week in and week out in the second tier too good to pass up.

 

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