To top off what has been a busy week at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke City have completed the free transfer signing of Glen Johnson.
The England international, who has 54 caps for his country and played at the 2010 and 2014 World Cup Finals as well as Euro 2012, became a free agent earlier this summer when his contract at Liverpool wasn’t extended. It was initially thought that the 30-year-old would head abroad, where he had interest from Italy’s Serie A, but he has instead opted to stay in the Premier League.
Johnson has signed a three-year contract with Stoke, who are looking to challenge for qualification to the UEFA Europa League next season. The right fullback will add more experience to the Potters squad, and he boasts Premier League and League Cup winners medals from his time at Chelsea, whilst he also won the FA Cup at Portsmouth and another League Cup on Merseyside.
“Glen’s a very experienced player,” manager Mark Hughes said after signing the defender, who began his career at West Ham United. “We obviously feel the qualities he has will help us. We are a team that’s trying to progress and we do that by getting good players into the squad. Glen is a player who has played at a high level for a very long time and we can benefit from that.”
In what has been a busy few days at the Britannia Stadium, Hughes has also signed goalkeeper Shay Given on a free transfer from Aston Villa o provide cover for Jack Butland. Regular first choice Asmir Begovic, meanwhile, looks set to join Chelsea, yet this has at least allowed Stoke to take Blues midfielder Marco van Ginkel from the Stamford Bridge club in a season-long loan.
The Holland international, who spent last term at AC Milan, will be an ideal replacement for Steven N’Zonzi who completed a £7million move to Sevilla in midweek, and Hughes said: “Marco is a player that I have been aware of for quite some time. There was an interest, certainly the club had an interest before he went to Chelsea. He’s fit and well now and we’re delighted.”