Former City star named in Championship team of the month

Stoke City's Mario Vrancic claps the fans after the Sky Bet Championship match at the Kiyan Prince F

Mario Vrancic thanks the Stoke fans for their support after a 2-0 win at QPR last month - Credit: PA

Former Norwich City midfielder Mario Vrancic has been named in the Championship team of the month for December.

Published by Sky Sports in association with stats website WhoScored.com, the divisional team is published each month and Vrancic's form for Stoke was enough to see him included.

WhoScored's editorial officer, Ben McAleer, writes: "Vrancic's standout display in December came in Stoke's 2-0 win at QPR at the start of the month, a match in which he had a direct hand in both goals.

"Despite only making three appearances in December, Vrancic still made 11 tackles - the 15th best return - to make the best XI with a WhoScored.com rating of 7.51."

The former Canaries favourite has three goals and seven assists to his name from 25 appearances for the Potters since joining on a free from Norwich last summer.

The Bosnia & Herzegovina international - earning a recall in October but having to pull out due to a minor injury - has started all but four of Stoke's league games, having been on the fringes of City's title triumph at times last season.

He scored 17 goals in 134 matches for Norwich after joining from Darmstadt for around £650,000 in 2017 and earned legendary status for his crucial goals during the Championship title triumph of 2018-19.

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The Potters' play-off hopes have taken a knock, however, with Michael O'Neill's squad enduring a Covid-19 outbreak that saw two matches postponed last month and 2-1 home defeats to Derby and Preston in recent days which has seen them slip to eighth.

Speaking at the end of last season, when he knew his contract wasn't going to be renewed, the former Paderborn maestro had insisted he still had the legs to keep playing at a good level.

“Let’s see, I’m quite happy in England," Vrancic told this website in May, before joining Stoke on a one-year deal. "I like the football, I like the people especially - and I probably wouldn’t deny an offer from an English team.

"The last time I missed a training session was like one-and-a-half years ago, so I’m quite fit to be honest, (but) I was quite surprised that I could make the 90 minutes because I haven’t played for a while!"

Another player included is Fulham's towering centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo, a player that Norwich are believed to have been interested in this summer, with the 24-year-old Manchester City academy product a regular starter for the title challengers.

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