With Stoke City confirming on Sunday that Republic of Ireland international and former West Bromwich Albion midfielder James McClean had signed on the dotted line at the club, it’s fair to say the man splits opinions in football in general.
He’s certainly split opinions in the Stoke fanbase!
Delighted to Join the club, cant wait to get started, all I ask is that I am judged by what I do on the pitch, I promise Stoke fans that I will give everything I have when I pull on the jersey, with your backing am sure I can contribute to helping the club back to the Prem ????⚪️ https://t.co/iX0qNqI6jJ
— James McClean (@JamesMcC_14) July 22, 2018
The 29-year-old has signed a four-year contract after agreement was struck between both clubs for a £5million transfer that could rise to £6million with add-ons and he does become new manager Gary Rowett’s fourth signing of the summer.
Now, I’m not sure I need to overly go into the issues that McClean brings with him – I would say that’s patently obvious for anyone who follows the game and you really have to be living in some kind of cave I think to not know the headlines he regularly creates. It’s also fair to say once a year it’s an incredibly easy go-to for the media and they take full advantage of it as well, so those who feel he’s an unfair target do have a basis for that.
You only have to look at the reactions of West Brom fans, for every social media comment criticising him and saying good riddance – there’s an equal comment pointing out he gave his all on the pitch and wears his heart on the sleeve with a wish that he hadn’t had a strop and refused to take part in their pre-season training camp as they felt he’d be an even greater asset to them this season with his work rate.
It’ll be interesting to see this one play out, for every Stoke fan saying they cannot support him, we again have those pointing out it’s how he performs that matters.
I tend to think the latter thought will be the one that wins out.