Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer admits he tried to sign Mark Duffy before he joined Stoke City.
Duffy left Sheffield United for Stoke on loan on transfer deadline day. This was after the Sheffield Star reported of a falling out between the midfielder and manager Chris Wilder.
Wilder said Duffy came to him asking for a new contract. Having only signed a new deal 18 months’ prior, the Blades boss was unhappy with this.
Wilder said he would not be dictated to by his players or their agents and that Duffy wanted to leave. That looked to be an even more likely outcome when the 33-year-old was not given a squad number for the new campaign.
So it proved, as Duffy moved to the bet365 Stadium on a season-long loan deal. Yet it could have been a different outcome, as Bowyer reveals.
“They’ve got some good individuals – obviously Duffy’s just gone there from Sheffield United,” the 42-year-old was quoted by the Stoke Sentinel. “A very good player, he’s someone that we were looking at.”
MORE UNITED STORIES
What role Mark Duffy will play at Stoke
As chance would have it, Duffy’s first game with his new club was against Charlton. And Bowyer’s side showed the attacking midfielder what he was missing out on by beating the Potters 3-1.
Duffy didn’t start the match, but was a second half substitute. At the time the score was 1-1, but Chuks Aneke and Conor Gallagher goals secured all three points for the Addicks.
Duffy has the opportunity to occupy the role for Stoke that he did to such great effect for the Blades last term. He was often the number ten in Chris Wilder’s 3-4-1-2 formation, linking midfield to attack.
While Nathan Jones doesn’t utilise that system, he does play a diamond midfield that requires someone in behind the two strikers.