Date: 4th January 2013 at 11:47am
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The transfer window has just smashed open and the rumour mill is now in full flow.

The January transfer window is normally a quiet period for Stoke as Peter Coates and Tony Pulis only ever delve into the market if needs must.

Both manager and chairman have vocalised that players available in this window are normally only available at an inflated price, and would prefer to do their business during the summer transfer window when prices are more realistic.

Stoke have a good first half of the season and lie comfortably in the top half of the table, but additions are required to a squad that really lacks any depth.

With recent injuries and suspensions, players like Ryan Shotton, who haven`t got the quality to perform at the highest level of English football have had to stand in, along with players such as Andy Wilkinson and Geoff Cameron have had to play out of position.

Stoke definitely need to purchase a left back, with regular Marc Wilson, still at least a month away from returning to the first team fold following his leg break in October.

Blackburn`s Martin Olsson is an ideal candidate to fill the gap left by the Irishmen. The Swedish international could be available for around £3 million and his pace and natural left foot would be a welcome addition.

An additional winger wouldn`t go a miss at the Britannia Stadium either, this could be rectified with the impending return of Jermaine Pennant from Wolves, but if the former Liverpool winger is move on to pastures new permanently, then Tony Pulis will have to look to replace the Englishmen, as Dean Whitehead has had to deputise on the wings from the bench.

An ageing Matthew Etherington also adds to the problems on the wing, so Pulis should look to bring in a new left sided player. An out and out left sided player is a rarity in the English game at the moment, but the Potters wouldn`t go wrong in attempting to prise Charles N`Zogbia from Aston Villa although the Frenchmen is coming off a long absence at his parent club.

Pulis and Coates have also vocalised the fact that they will have to sell before they buy this window, and up to SEVEN players could leave the club this window.

With Higginbotham and Arismendi already leaving the club, the likes of Rory Delap, Michael Tonge, Wilson Palacios, Cameron Jerome and Ryan Shotton could all be set to leave the Britannia Stadium this month to fund any possible transfers in.