Stoke City FC (@stokecity) June 9, 2014
Stoke City have signed midfielder Steve Sidwell on a free transfer following his release by relegated Fulham.
Despite ending the previous season as Fulham’s top goal scorer, Sidwell found himself excluded from manager Felix Magath’s plans for next season, and consequently he decided to quit the London outfit.
The 31-year-old has been chased by the Potters before, as long ago as January 2003, when Tony Pulis wanted to sign him from hist first club Arsenal.
Sidwell failed to miss a league match for Fulham last season, scoring seven and assisting two goals in total. He even deputised as captain in Brede Hangeland’s absence.
He was desperate to avoid relegation with the club who had treated him so well during his three and a half year spell, repeatedly putting his body on the line, for what at times seemed a lost cause.
His work-rate and never-say-die attitude has seen him gain a vast number of fans during his time as a top flight player. This will also have been a major factor behind Mark Hughes pursuit of his services. The Welshman also signed the player in question whilst working as Fulham manager in 2011.
Following Sidwell's departure from Craven Cottage he had been attracting interest from the likes of QPR, West Ham, Leicester and Sunderland, but the Potters came out on top in the race to secure his signature.
He will bring a fantastic level of experience to the current Stoke squad and it is likely he will prove to be an excellent addition over the course of the upcoming season.
The latest Twitter reaction certainly suggests a good deal for both player and club:
Mark hughes has a wonderful midfield to work with for next season, glenn whelan charlie adam and steve sidwell..what a midfield! #tikitaka— hassan (@hassan_illahi) June 9, 2014
@stokecity Sad to see him go, top draw player at Fulham, will give 100/% in a Stoke shirt and will pop up with important goals.— Scott FFC Tanfield (@Scott_Tanfield) June 9, 2014