Mark Hughes ready to re-sign Santa Cruz

Roque Santa Cruz has had a rather disruptive career as the striker has moved from club to club in a bid to find some consistency and stay fit.

After being released by Man City, the Paraguayan has yet again found himself searching for another club and it seems that Stoke could be ready to make an approach for the nomadic goalscorer.

Despite reports linking Santa Cruz with a move back to the Bundesliga with Hamburg, the striker’s family has urged him to try and sign for a club in England alerting the likes of Stoke to his services.

This was underlined by Hamburg’s sporting director Oliver Kreuzer who told The Sun that ““Roque would have loved to come and play for Hamburg but his wife, for personal reasons, opposed the transfer. It’s really a shame because Roque would have fitted in very well with us but we have to accept the decision.”

New Stoke boss Mark Hughes is certainly no stranger to the striker having signed him twice before when he was in charge of Blackburn and Man City.

It was his form at Blackburn that endeared the Paraguayan to Hughes where he notched up 19 goals in 37 appearances during the 2006-2007 season.

But this was this sort of form that led Santa Cruz to making a move to Eastlands in 2008 where the striker was hit by a series of injuries that prevented him from finding his previous good form.

After two seasons struggling to break into the first team, Santa Cruz has spent the past two seasons on loan in Spain playing for Real Betis then Malaga and has recaptured some form.

Whilst at Real Betis, the Paraguayan scored 7 goals in 35 appearances and things continued to improve during his time at Malaga where he goal tally reached double figures (12) for the first time in 7 years.

If Santa Cruz does sign for Stoke, it could mark the end of Peter Crouch’s time at the Britannia Stadium with the former England striker set to leave this summer.

Having struggled to be a regular goalscorer throughout last season, it is being reported that Mark Hughes is searching for a new striker to replace Crouch in his starting line-up.

With his experience and previous form under Hughes, the Paraguayan does possess the qualities to lead the frontline for Stoke should he join the club but with questions still remaining about consistency and fitness, it’ll be interesting to see whether The Potters will take a gamble on a player like Santa Cruz.

Andrew Roach is writer and editor of A keen Arsenal fan who is always on the pulse of all things at the Emirates!