Stoke City may currently sit tenth in the Premier League but if you ask most Potters fans right now, they will tell you that performances haven't been great recently, especially away from home. There is an air of gloom around the club with some of the fans crying out for a bit more creativity and flair.
After a reasonably bright start Michael Kightly has faded badly and for all his endeavour, Jon Walters just isn't good enough to play on the wing. On top of that we have Jermaine Pennant who is out of favour and not likely to play a game for the club again, and Matthew Etherington who has struggled for form even since the FA Cup final two years ago.
Our wide players have been an area that has been crying out for a shake up for sometime now and that spark could very well be provided by deadline day signing, Brek Shea, signed for just £2.5m from FC Dallas in the MLS.
We should perhaps be a bit cautious as Shea has spent the past few months on the sidelines with injury but the young American is now back in full training and has already played in 2 behind doors friendlies for The Potters, scoring in his first, as he settles into his new surroundings at The Britannia Stadium.
One of our biggest problems for a long time now has been scoring goals and we are led to believe this is an area that Shea can help in. During his time in the MLS he averaged one goal in every five games (19 in 98) which is pretty decent for a wide player. He was also nominated in 2011 to the MLS All-Star Game and was an MVP nominee in the same Season. I might not be up to speed with all things 'MLS' but I am pretty confident that these achievements are things we can chalk down in the positive column for our new winger.
Klinsmann Sees Shea Quality
At just 22, he already has 15 caps to his name and USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann has said of him: "I think we have some very interesting youngsters coming through the ranks. Brek Shea is definitely one of them. He's full of energy, he's creative, and he's fast and has a good physical presence. He's one of the kids we are going to build over the next cycle." Promising words from his international coach.
Robbie Earle is also somebody who has seen plenty of Shea during his TV work for NBC. He said of Brek: "He reminds me of what Gareth Bale was like a couple of years ago. Like Bale, Shea is a great athlete and a strong runner down the left. He can smash the ball with that left foot of his or clip in a cross. He lost his way a little bit at Dallas, but has bags of ability."
Comparisons to Bale are obviously greatly premature but these comments can only be a positive thing and paint a picture of potentially great things to come, if he can get back to his best on his return from injury. A start on Saturday may just be too soon for him but a place on the bench is a real possibility, with perhaps an appearance in the final 20 or 30 minutes very much on the cards. Hopefully it will give us all a better idea of what he is going to bring to the table and if he really is worth all the hype.
It's early doors but we could have a great prospect on our hands in Shea. Hopefully we'll know more come the full time whistle at Craven Cottage on Saturday.