Stoke’s decade-long stay in the Premier League is over. They finished second from bottom, three points adrift of safety despite winning their last game of the season.
The Potters must now regroup as they prepare for life in the Championship, but will have to deal with a mass exodus of players first.
Champions League winner Xherdan Shaqiri will certainly not stick around and won’t be short of suitors either after enjoying a fine individual campaign.
There are also doubts about Paul Lambert’s future at the club, due to a release clause in his current deal. Are they beat equipped of the three relegated teams to make an immediate return?
SUCCESS – JACK BUTLAND
Other than Xherdan Shaqiri, the standout performer for Stoke this season was Jack Butland.
The 25-year-old was certainly more involved that he would have liked to have been, making more saves than any other Premier League goalkeeper (142).
Butland is expected to be England’s No.2 at the 2018 World Cup this summer and he has certainly deserved that role.
Stoke conceded the joint-most goals in the Premier League this season (68), but it could have been far worse had it not been for Butland.
FLOP – KEVIN WIMMER
Stoke’s poor recruitment is epitomised by their decision to splash out £18m to sign Kevin Wimmer from Tottenham last summer.
The Austria international endured a torrid debut season for the Potters and now Lambert’s side face a real challenge to get him off their books this summer.
Wimmer only made 17 league appearances for Stoke this season and most will say that was 17 too many.
Unsurprisingly, Stoke conceded more goals per league game (2.43) when Wimmer started compared to the games he didn’t (1.42).
Grade - E