Bournemouth has recalled Mark Travers from his loan spell at Stoke City due to an injury crisis. Stoke City has officially confirmed the return of the goalkeeper to Bournemouth. Travers, an Ireland international, initially joined the Potters on a season-long loan.
At the outset, this move appeared to be a smart piece of business for Alex Neil’s team. Travers had been a consistent presence, featuring in every match, and had generally made a positive impression. Despite a somewhat mixed season for Stoke, he had performed well.
However, an injury to their first-choice goalkeeper, Neto, and the absence of experienced backup Darren Randolph left Andrei Radu as the only senior goalkeeper at Dean Court. Consequently, Bournemouth requested special dispensation from the league to recall Travers, and this request was granted. As a result, Travers will be part of the Cherries squad for their upcoming match against Burnley.
What is the impact of this setback for Stoke?
Stoke City had recently begun to experience a glimmer of optimism after securing consecutive victories against promotion hopefuls Sunderland and Leeds, following a disappointing start to the season. Losing their primary goalkeeper is a significant setback and is likely to have caught manager Alex Neil off guard, evoking sympathy for him in this situation.
Travers had been a reliable presence in goal this season, making crucial saves and demonstrating his quality, particularly in the last two matches. However, this situation provides an opportunity for Jack Bonham, and Stoke isn’t turning to an inexperienced goalkeeper. The 30-year-old Bonham has accumulated extensive experience in the Football League over the years, including 38 appearances for Stoke in the Championship over the past two seasons. Bonham must now step up and make the most of this opportunity, as he is likely to be the first-choice goalkeeper for the coming months.
Will Mark Travers return to Stoke?
With Travers back at Bournemouth, he won’t be eligible for another move until January. This recall is an unusual circumstance resulting from Andoni Iraola’s injury situation. If Travers plays for Bournemouth, the only possible club he can join in the New Year is Stoke because a player cannot represent three different clubs in a single season.
With Neto’s form in question and uncertainty surrounding Radu, the 24-year-old Travers will likely view this as an excellent opportunity to secure the number one goalkeeper position at the Premier League side. In any case, Stoke’s recruitment team will have to wait until January to address their goalkeeping needs.
What’s next for Stoke?
Stoke City is set to face Middlesbrough on Saturday, and they will visit a Middlesbrough side that is currently in fine form. Michael Carrick’s team recently secured a win at Norwich, making it six consecutive victories for them. Jack Bonham is expected to start in goal for Stoke, but Alex Neil is likely to make minimal changes to maintain their momentum.