Fleetwood Town loan star Harry Souttar will be given a chance to force his way into contention at Stoke City next season.
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The Championship club’s boss Nathan Jones says the defender will have a chance to prove himself during pre-season in the Potteries.
Souttar, 20, impressed in an 11-game loan spell at Town in the closing months of last season.
Boss Barton has spoken of his desire to see the defender and his other loan stars return to Fleetwood Town.
But ex-Luton Town manager Jones says he has kept an eye on both Souttar and Shrewsbury loanee Tyrese Campbell’s loan spells in League One.
And he says both will get a chance to prove themselves at the bet365 Stadium over the summer.
Stoke’s players are due to report back for pre-season training on June 26 but Town fans can take hope from Jones’ comments.
The Stoke boss says that if Souttar and Campbell do not hit the levels he requires they will be loaned out again to aid their development.
Jones told Stoke On Trent Live: “They are going to come back and get an opportunity to stake a claim here.
“They’ve gone out and had successful loans spells, which shows they are not too far off.
“So they will get an opportunity to progress in pre-season, and if they are at the level we want they can stay.
“If not, we will seek to continue their development, whether that’s with us as squad players or with another loan.
“We’ve watched them every week and had good reports. I’ve watched games and we’ve been very impressed.
“Harry’s played more minutes than Tyrese but it’s in a different position, so Harry is slightly further down the line with his development, we think.”