Date: 29th July 2018 at 3:16pm
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Over the weekend Stoke City confirmed the allocation of shirt numbers for the coming 2018/19 Championship campaign.

Whilst shirt numbers don’t indicate what they used to with players picking their own favourites and it not being uncommon for a regular starter to choose numbers in the late teens or even the twenties and thirties now in some cases, the omission of a shirt number 5 for the coming year certainly stands out.

New summer signings Tom Ince, Peter Etebo, Benik Afobe, James McClean and Adam Federici have all been handed their shirts for the coming season and they take 7, 8, 9, 11 and 32 respectively.

Full squad:

1 Jack Butland
2 Moritz Bauer
3 Erik Pieters
4 Joe Allen
6 Badou Ndiaye
7 Tom Ince
8 Peter Etebo
9 Benik Afobe
10 Maxim Choupo-Moting
11 James McClean
12 Josh Tymon
14 Ibrahim Afellay
15 Bruno Martins Indi
16 Charlie Adam
17 Ryan Shawcross
18 Mame Diouf
19 Saido Berahino
20 Geoff Cameron
21 Giannelli Imbula
24 Darren Fletcher
25 Peter Crouch
26 Tyrese Campbell
27 Bojan
28 Julien Ngoy
29 Jakob Haugaard
30 Tom Edwards
31 Thibaud Verlinden
32 Adam Federici
33 Lasse Sorensen
34 Oliver Shenton
35 Ryan Sweeney
36 Harry Souttar

Fans will have to decide for themselves whether the omission of the No 5 shirt is absolutely natural given the choices of Bruno Martins Indi and Ryan Shawcross as No 5 was missing in 2017/18 following Marc Muniesa’s departure but others will wonder with the speculation surrounding the capture of Aston Villa’s James Chester (he wears 5) whether it’s being saved for him, or even further afield, a later move for somebody like Robert Huth if there’s any truth in those rumours.

If it’s supposed to suggest anything, it would be the Welsh international for me.


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