Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has hinted that he may start some of his new signings against Arsenal on Saturday (19 August) but will have to make do without the talents of young forward Julien Ngoy, who has suffered a thigh injury.
Stoke suffered a 1-0 defeat to Everton in their Premier League opener last weekend and will hope to get their first points of the new season on the board against Arsenal, who have only won two of their last nine matches at the Bet365 Stadium.
Hughes will be able to call upon new signing Jese Rodriguez, who arrived at Stoke on a season-long loan this week, and is hoping to utilise the rest of his new recruits against Arsenal, who will be busy during the remaining of the transfer window according to manager Arsene Wenger.
Jese will almost certainly play some part against Arsenal, but young forward Ngoy will have to make do with a watching from the stands for the weekend and perhaps the next six weeks. Hughes confirmed that the Belgian teenager has suffered a thigh problem but has no other pressing injury concerns, with Ibrahim Affellay and Stephen Ireland the only other absentees.
"We are OK in terms of injuries," Hughes said in his press conference ahead of his side's clash with Arsenal. "The only one is Julien Ngoy who has pulled his thigh. It's a nasty one and he could be out for five to six weeks.
"We are hoping to involve all the signings we've brought in over the summer on Saturday. Some will start and others will be on the bench. We view the players we've brought in as regular starters. If we compare where we were at the end of last season I think we are stronger.
"Jese is at a club where he can express himself and I think we can give him a platform to excite. He's an elite level player."
Despite spending very little this summer, Stoke have brought in six new first-team players including Jese, Kurt Zouma and Bruno Martins Indi, who was drafted in on a permanent transfer after impressing on loan from Porto last month.
Martins Indi is the only player that Stoke have spent substantial money on this summer but Hughes confirmed that the Potters are not yet finished in transfer market, though he believes his squad is already stronger than it was last season.
"If the window closed now we would be stronger than last season. We've still got time to bring more in and are still in the market," Hughes said.