Sport Soccer

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Given and Van Ginkel join Potters

Stoke have added experienced goalkeeper Shay Given to their squad
Stoke have added experienced goalkeeper Shay Given to their squad

Stoke's summer recruitment continues apace after the club confirmed the signing of former Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given.

The announcement of the Republic of Ireland international's arrival on a two-year deal came less than an hour after the Potters secured Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel on a season-long loan.

Given fills the gap left by veteran Thomas Sorensen's departure at the end of the previous campaign, but, with first-choice Asmir Begovic seemingly on his way out of the Britannia Stadium, with Chelsea stepping up their interest, the 39-year-old will provide competition for England Under-21 international Jack Butland.

"I know Shay particularly well from our time together at Manchester City and I'm really looking forward to working with him again," said manager Mark Hughes.

"He will not only be a great asset on the pitch as an outstanding goalkeeper but he's also a fantastic character to have in the dressing room and around the club - a true professional."

Given joined Stoke after being released from the final year of his deal with Villa.and chief executive Tony Scholes added: "Few players can match Shay for the longevity of his career, but having finished last season as Villa's first-choice goalkeeper it's clear he still has so much to offer."

As well as investing in experience, the Potters have also brought in potential in the form of Van Ginkel, the 22-year-old who spent last season on loan at AC Milan.

The Holland international, who was the club's fourth signing of the summer following that of defender Philipp Wollscheid, goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard and striker Joselu, will join up with his new team-mates in Singapore ahead of their appearance alongside Premier League rivals Arsenal and Everton in next week's Barclays Asia Trophy.

"Marco is the kind of player we have been looking to bring to the club," said Hughes.

"He will bring great energy to the side and is capable of scoring goals from midfield, as he showed during his time with Vitesse (Arnhem).

"I'm looking forward to him linking up with the squad in Singapore and getting the chance to work with him on the training ground and see him in action in the Barclays Asia Trophy."

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