PHOTO: Bojan Krkic and new boss Mark Hughes with Stoke City shirt

Former Barcelona academy product is pictured with his new kit for the season.

The signing of Bojan Krkic from Barcelona, once revered as one of the hottest prospects in world football, "underlines the progress" Stoke City are making as a club, according to club chief executive Tony Scholes.

He is quoted by the club's official website to have said: "We are delighted to have signed such a richly talented and exciting player, who is still only 23.

"A number of other clubs had expressed an interest in him but Bojan believes joining Stoke City will benefit his career and we have no doubts he will prove to be a wonderful addition to our squad."

Bojan began his Barcelona youth career when he was nine years old, before graduating into the B squad in 2006, aged 16, and exciting the club's staff as much as Lionel Messi.

The fortunes of the two diminutive attackers, though, is contrasting in nature as the Argentine has gone on to become a multi Ballon d'Or winning athlete while the latter has struggled to make an impact at club-level and has even spent spells at AS Roma (two years, contract), AC Milan (loan) and Ajax (loan).

The player will no doubt be desperate to make a sufficient impact in the Premier League where he can live up to his former hype.

He is pictured above with the new Stoke City shirt and boss Mark Hughes, himself a former Barcelona player also.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch