Paper Talk: Sweeney & Souttar Among Walsall's Stoke City Options

Stoke City defenders Ryan Sweeney and Harry Souttar are believed to be the leading candidates to make the move to Banks's Stadium following the news Walsall defender Kory Roberts had suffered a double leg break during Saturday's pre-season friendly between the Potters and Saddlers.
City boss Gary Rowett spoke to the press shortly after the full-time whistle and, along with wishing Kory a speedy recovery, pledged to do 'all he can' to help the Saddlers after highly-rated Roberts suffered the season-threatening injury during a collision with Sweeney, towards the end of the second-half.

Rowett, who also admitted that he'd have gladly taken a defeat if it meant Kory made it through the match unscathed, is expected to be in contact with Walsall boss Dean Keates over the coming days as he looks to help the manager fill the void left by Kory's absence.

Former AFC Wimbledon defender Sweeney has spent the last two seasons on loan with Bristol Rovers, while Souttar, who joined Stoke from Dundee United in 2016, recently enjoyed a loan spell with Ross County.

Along with either Sweeney or Souttar, former Wrexham prospect Olly Marx is believed to be another defender likely to join the Saddlers over the coming weeks but could be instantly loaned out as Dean Keates, who is said to be working hard to add numbers to his back line, believes the youngster could benefit from a spell of first-team football.

Roberts' injury leaves the Saddlers with Jon Guthrie as the only fit senior centre-back, with development defender Dan Vann also waiting in the wings, meaning Keates will have to act swiftly as the opening game of the season edges ever closer.

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