Top-club pedigree or rejects? Whichever way you look at it, Stoke City have some big names in their squad – and the additions of Wilfried Bony and Bruno Martins Indi only add to this fact.
In the past the club has been known as a tough-tackling, sturdy team famously difficult to visit, particularly on soggy Tuesdays. Now though they have some players capable of precise, good-looking football – and they come from some top clubs too.
The loan signing of Manchester City’s Wilfried Bony was completed today and has given The Potters a striker of some pedigree. At City he struggled for game time behind the likes of Sergio Aguero and even the youngster Kelechi Iheanacho, but they will be hoping he can regain the form he showed at Swansea.
Oh and goalkeeper Shay Given was at the Etihad as well. Midfielder Stephen Ireland was too – but some may argue this was before City were universally known as a top club.
Another signing on deadline day, Bruno Martins Indi left Portugese giants Porto to join Ryan Shawcross in the heart of the Stoke defence.
Barcelona is the dream team every fan wants their club to emulate. At Stoke, manager Mark Hughes has brought in not one, not two, but three ex-Barca players!
Okay so Marc Muniesa only played 2 games for the Catalan giants – but Bojan Krkic and Ibrahim Afellay have 125 appearances between them.
If you thought there were a lot of ex-Barca players, just wait til you hear who came from five-time European Champions Liverpool.
There are four ex-Reds in the team, including the newly-signed Â£13m Joe Allen, fellow midfielder Charlie Adam, right back Glen Johnson and target-man Peter Crouch.
Perhaps they should add a bit more red to that stripey kit…
Although he is not exactly a golden boy from Manchester United, Mame Biram Diouf did get a goal from his five appearances.
Ryan Shawcross was a Red Devils man also, although he went out on loan and never got a seniors game at Sir Alex Ferguson’s team.
Bayern Munich and Inter Milan
Many may wonder what links these two giants of the game. There is an answer from Stoke City – Xherdan Shaqiri.
The Switzerland international spent three years at the German champions, before moving to Inter Milan for â¬15 million in 2015. After only 15 games and one goal at the San Siro, Shaqiri moved on to – you guessed it, The Potters.
What top-club pedigree list would be complete without Real Madrid getting a mention – and you’ll never believe it, but Stoke can provide one.
Stoke striker Joselu played for Madrid. See – there’s a picture and everything!
Okay, so he only played one game, but he did score. He got 40 in 72 games for Real Madrid B too.
Looks like visitors will need to worry about a lot more than wet and windy Tuesday nights when they visit The Potters this season…