Potters fans have been reacting to an emotional Twitter post by winger Thibaud Verlinden, in which the Belgian confirms he will miss the remainder of the season through injury.
Following a loan spell at Bolton Wanderers in the first half of the season, in which the 20-year-old scored three times in 12 starts, Stoke manager Michael O’Neill informed Bolton boss Keith Hill that he would not be returning to the University of Bolton Stadium for the second half of their campaign.
Since his return to the Potters, O’Neill had integrated Verlinden into his matchday squad, with the winger featuring four times from the bench before the ACL injury he sustained during Wednesday’s loss against Preston North End.
Following his post, Stoke fans replied en mass with messages of support for the Belgian.
It’s with a lot of sadness that i have to write this message to say that yesterday’s game was my last game of the season. It’s not an easy injury but i promised myself, my family and the fans that i will recover from this and come back stronger! @stokecity pic.twitter.com/Ap82IJICeJ
— Thibaud Verlinden (@ThibaudVerlinde) February 13, 2020
We’ll be with you Thibaud.
— Wizards O’Drivel (@wizardsofdrivel) February 13, 2020
Get well soon Thibaud ???
— ?Linda? (@LindaLovesStoke) February 13, 2020
Speedy recovery boss x
— Cav? (@_StokeCav) February 13, 2020
Gutted for you mate. Good luck with recovery and look forward to having you back stronger next season.
— Joe Barbieri (@JoeBarbieri_) February 13, 2020
Heartbreaking that pal, come back firing next year x
— Luke (@SCFCLuke) February 13, 2020
Get well soon, We’ll Be With You ?????
— Harvey (@HarveySCFC_) February 13, 2020
What do we think?
Verlinden impressed while on loan at Bolton, not only with his three goals and two assists, but also in a creative capacity, making an average of 0.9 key passes and completing 1.9 dribbles per game.
His absence from the bench will be missed by Michael O’Neill’s side, as with the continuing poor form of Tom Ince, their manager now has one less viable replacement.