New Stoke signing Imbula quickly establishes himself among Premier League’s best

Stoke Britannia Stadium

Giannelli Imbula joined Stoke City in January.

Giannelli Imbula has quickly established himself as one of the best passers in the Premier League.

The talented midfielder cost Stoke City a club record transfer fee when he opted to trade Portuguese giants Porto for the Britannia Stadium late in the January transfer window.

Stoke have improved immensely under boss Mark Hughes, and the recent arrivals of Champions League winners Bojan Krkic, Ibrahim Afellay and Xherdan Shaqiri have made plenty of noises.

Yet the acquisition of Imbula arguably topped the lot, not only for breaking Stoke’s previous transfer record but for the fact the club paid so heavily for one player midway through the campaign.

Imbula was top of Hughes’ wish-list, and there is a very good reason for that as the 23-year-old has quickly established himself as one of the best passers in the Premier League.

  PositionTeamAccurate Passes per GameAppearances
Santiago Cazorla MF Arsenal 74.07 14
Giannelli Imbula MF Stoke 62.5 2
Cesc Fàbregas MF Chelsea 60.68 25
Mesut Özil MF Arsenal 53.79 24

As shown by the table provided by Opta, Imbula’s average number of passers per Premier League encounter is second only to Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas.

Now, the former Marseille man has only played two games for the Potters, yet his influence in both matches can be seen by the number of accurate passes made over the 90 minutes.

He has become the predominant figure for Stoke in midfield, while his average betters that of Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas and Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil among other elite playmakers.

Imbula wasn’t really renowned for his passing ability, rather his contributions to the defensive side of the game, but his work in possession so far is superb and he could be the man to lead Stoke to the next level.

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