Joselu might find it tough in EPL, says Ilsø
Highly-rated Spanish forward Joselu arrived at the Britannia Stadium last month after sealing a £5.9million move from Bundesliga outfit Hannover 96, and became the most expensive signing manager Mark Hughes has made in his three-year tenure at the club.
The 25-year-old, who stands at 1.91m tall, arrived on the back of a breakthrough season for the Die Roten where he netted eight times and won 188 aerial duels, more than any player in the English Premier League (EPL) had managed.
He featured in Singapore as Stoke City took on Everton and a Singapore Select XI at the Barclays Asia Trophy, but failed to find the net in his first two appearances with his new club.
Having played against Joselu a couple of times during his time in Germany with Fortuna Dusseldorf and VfL Bochum from 2011 to 2013, Ilsø believes the striker has the necessary attributes to succeed in the English top-flight.
“Overall he’s a really good player,” said the 28-year-old, who is currently plying his trade in the S.League with Home United.
“He has good shooting technique, great speed, is powerful and has the eye for the goal. His playing style reminds me of (Alvaro) Negredo.”
However, Ilsø warned that the former Real Madrid trainee would likely find things tougher in England with the Potters and that he will need a hardworking strike partner in order to succeed.
“He had successes with various German clubs (like Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt and Hannover), but is he strong enough for the EPL?” Ilsø asked.
“I don’t know the answer to that, but I feel that he should be playing alongside players who move around a lot and make many runs. That will create space for him to score.”
With a wide array of striking options at the club in Jonathan Walters, Bojan Krkic, Peter Crouch and Mame Baram Diouf, Ilsø believes the biggest challenge is for Joselu to fight his way into Hughes’ starting eleven.
“I think instead of guessing how many goals he will score, we should be guessing if he manages to get into the starting lineup,” he said.
“If he manages to achieve that, then he will need to score at least eight this coming season. If not, he could be deemed a failure.”