With the transfer window in full swing, HITC Sport takes a look at some of the best and the worst Stoke City signings.
Over the years, we've seen many spectacular and strange signings in the transfer window. Moves that have amazed and mystified fans and journalists alike, along with the occasional "hidden gem" or the odd "flop". Stoke City are one club who have been subject to all of the above over the years, and so, HITC Sport has decided to take a look at some of the best and the worst of the Potters' transfer business.
General view - Britannia Stadium
Not many eyelids were batted when Stoke City completed the signing of Ipswich Town striker Jonathan Walters in 2010. The Republic of Ireland international, who had also played for Blackburn Rovers, Hull City and Wrexham, hadn't scored a massive amount of goals in his career, but quickly won over Stoke City fans with his hard work and spirit. Epitomising much of what Stoke City are all about (hard-work and persistence), Walters quickly became a big part of both Tony Pulis' side and Mark Hughes', and continues to fight hard for his place in the team week in, week out to this day.
Stoke City's Jonathan Walters (R) celebrates
After a succession of eye-catching seasons in the Bundesliga, Stoke City moved to bring in Austrian international Marko Arnautovic in 2013, from German side Weder Bremen. Despite struggling at times for consistency, Arnautovic has been one of the highlights of Stoke City during the Premier League era, often wowing crowds with his close-quarters skill and powerful shooting abilities. Often a big game player, Arnautovic has been one of the better players for Stoke City this season, and the club will be hoping to keep hold of him this month.
Marko Arnautovic scores for Stoke
At the heart of any successful team, there's always a great player between the sticks, and that has been the case for Stoke City for a number of years. In 2010, Stoke moved to secure the services of Portsmouth goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic, who had been dished out on loan to six clubs between 2005-2010. However, Begovic quickly won over the Potters faithful with a number of sensational save, quickly becoming one of the better keepers in the Premier League during his five years at the Britannia. Now serving as a bench-warmer at Chelsea, Begovic will always be loved by Stoke City fans for his years of service under Tony Pulis.
Chelsea's Asmir Begovic
After 14 Premier League goals in two seasons for Reading, Stoke felt confident that Dave Kitson would fit in with Tony Pulis's direct style of play, bringing him to the Britannia Stadium upon The Potters' promotion to the top flight. Yet after a goalless debut season and just five goals in his second campaign, he was sent to Portsmouth as part of a swap for Marc Wilson. Tony Pulis has become reknowned for buying decent strikers, but on Dave Kitson, he made one hell of a hiccup.
Stoke's Dave Kitson (L)
Wilson Palacios might take the crown for the worst Stoke signing since their promotion to the Premier League. The Honduran had earned a reputation for being a combative midfielder during spells with Birmingham, Wigan and Tottenham, and having slipped down the pecking order at Spurs, Pulis brought him to Stoke in 2011. The 30-year-old made only 38 appearances over his four years at Stoke City, becoming better known for his sending offs than anything else.
Stoke's Wilson Palacios (L)
Joining the Potters for a club record £18.3 million (according to the Daily Mail), Giannelli Imbula had a great start to his Stoke City career. Fleshing himself out as a deep lying midfielder, Stoke City fans quickly took to the player for his hardy tackles and rocket shots. However, over the past few months Imbula's form has dipped dramatically, and it now looks like the hefty price tag is weighing heavily on the Frenchman's shoulders.
Stoke's Giannelli Imbula