Tony Pulis hails Stoke City’s new summer signings
Tony Pulis was one of deadline day’s busiest managers as Stoke signed four players in what was a frantic finish at The Britannia Stadium.
Eidur Gudjohnsen, Salif Diao, Jermaine Pennant and Marc Wilson all signed for the Potters, with Dave Kitson and Liam Lawrence leaving the club.
Iceland forward Gudjohnsen has joined on a season-long loan deal from French outfit Monaco, with Stoke agreeing to pay his £2million wages for the year. Pennant, meanwhile, has joined also on a year-long loan from Spanish side Zaragoza.
Diao, who originally declined an offer from Stoke at the end of last season, has agreed to a player-coach role within the club. The Senegalese midfielder had been looking into moving abroad, but decided to come back to Stoke, signing a two-year deal.
“It is fantastic,” said Stoke boss Pulis. “He (Diao) is not only an experience head, but a good person to have around.
“We made it perfectly clear there would always be a welcome for him back here and we’re delighted he has signed now.”
Gudjohnsen, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Tottenham where he scored twice in 14 appearances -including one against Stoke -was shown around the new £7m training ground at Clayton Wood yesterday.
The former Bolton, Chelsea and Barcelona man then entered into negotiations which went right down to the 1800BST deadline.
Youngster Wilson, 23, who had become captain of Portsmouth this season and was a player that manager Steve Cotterill wanted to keep, signed a four year deal with the Potters.
Wilson said: “It is great to be back in the Premier League. I had a taste of playing in the Premier League last season, it is the best league in the world and I wanted to get back there as soon as possible.”
Pennant, 27, started his career at Notts County before joining Arsenal for £2m in 1999. He has also played for Watford, Leeds, Birmingham and Liverpool.
Pulis believes both Pennant and Gudjohnsen, along with other summer signing Kenwyne Jones, can remedy Stoke’s lack of goals which hindered them last season in the Premier League.