# Out of favour
James McClean's Stoke future in doubt as he is left out of pre-season squad
The Irish international has also lost his squad number at the club.

JAMES MCCLEAN’S CLUB future is shrouded in doubt after he was left out of Stoke’s pre-season training squad. 

McClean is not among the 27 players named by manager Michael O’Neill for a six-day training camp in Belfast, which culminates in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Linfield. 

The Irish international has also lost his number 11 squad number at the club, and has been reassigned number 30. McClean last night cryptically posted an Instagram photo of himself in Stoke gear along with the caption, ‘Beg me.’ 

McClean joined Stoke from West Brom in 2018, and has made more than 100 appearances for the club. He missed much of the latter half of last season through injury, however, with O’Neill publicly bemoaning his decision to play three times for Ireland in March.

Having missed five weeks of club action through injury, McClean nonetheless played in all three of Ireland’s games against Serbia, Luxembourg and Qatar, with O’Neill subsequently saying he was “disappointed” with how the situation was handled. Ruled out once again by injury, McClean played just a further 19 minutes of action across the rest of the season. 

Earlier in the season, Stoke suspended McClean for one game after he was found to have breached Covid protocols by training in a private gym. 

McClean is not the only senior player to be excluded from the camp: Sam Vokes, Tom Ince, and Lee Gregory are also out. Welsh internationals Joe Allen and Adam Davies have been included in spite of being involved in the European Championships. 

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