Date: 16th May 2017 at 4:09pm
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It can’t ever be said Stoke boss Mark Hughes hasn’t been backed in the transfer market, which I’m sure he wouldn’t deny himself. But it could be different during the next transfer window as the purse strings aren’t expected to carry as much slack this summer.

This doesn’t represent too much of a problem for Hughes though as he feels Stoke have younger players coming through at the Bet365 Stadium capable of stepping into the first team squad.

U23 players Julien Ngoy and Tom Edwards are among those tipped to form part of Hughes’ senior squad next season. Ngoy, who has five Premier League appearances to his name already, has been mentioned in particular.

Hughes told Stoke Sentinel: ‘We have got young players coming through who may be given that opportunity in the main squad, rather than the under-23s. The likes of Julien Ngoy and others will be very much part of the first-team squad next year, so that obviously gives us younger players we can integrate more closely to the first team.’

It isn’t all down to the fact finances on offer to Hughes will be reduced, the boss doesn’t think Stoke have had the quality in place to bring younger players through – the Potters do now.

He said: ‘There will be a change in that regard because in previous seasons we haven’t had that quality of young player to push forward. But there are signs now, given the investment the club has made, that good players are coming through which is always going to help me.’

Stoke can’t sustain the wages of 25 senior first teamers, topping up with ‘good young players’ will allow those saved wages to be distributed elsewhere.

Hughes added: ‘If you are carrying 25 senior players that’s 25 senior wages. We haven’t been able to consolidate the amount of money we have at the top end because we have to spread right through the 25 man squad. If we can get good young players to take positions 21 to 25 then obviously that’s going to enable you to use that money elsewhere.’

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