Looking Closer: Ryan Sweeney

Does this one count as out of the blue? Stoke was fleetingly linked with the player last month, but it was nothing so serious that the major outlets picked up on the story and within a few days it was once again silent. So today when news broke that we had seen a fee of £250k agreed for the 19-year-old centre back you could be forgiven for thinking it a story from nowhere.

Currently playing for Wimbledon the youngster has been linked with moves to the likes of Spurs in the recent past, so for Stoke to seemingly nab the defender as our third signing of the summer could be seen as somewhat of a coup (Providing he hasn’t done something to turn off the attentions of those bigger clubs).

This is the part of the blog where we would go in depth on the way he plays and what teams he has plied his trade at. But the truth is the youngster has only played a total of 13 times for his club at the senior level, so unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of detail to go off. What I can tell you, however, is that his performances at senior and youth levels were enough to receive a call up to none other than the Republic of Ireland squad, albeit at the U18 level.

It would be foolish to speculate that the young lad was coming to Stoke to be thrown straight into the first team when in actuality it is more than likely that he won’t even be seen as a bench player for at least a year or two. Ryan is more than likely either going to be sent out on loan in order to gain first team experience, or he’ll be playing in Stoke’s youth system. It could be possible that Mark Hughes sees a bright future for the Centre Half, perhaps a like for like replacement for Shawcross down the line (Initials and all), or perhaps a younger alternative for Wilson? The bottom line is that no one really knows, so as Stoke fans are like to do, please don’t put all the pressure in the world on the kid. If he doesn’t feature in a first team for a year or two then so be it, wait it out, give the lad time and who knows we could actually have a prodigy on our hands… Or just another face for the academy. Either way it’s a new signing and we should be happy.

Written by Mitch Adams

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