x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Pulis hopes to stoke the fire with triple loan swoop

Stoke City were the most active Premier League club on transfer deadline day as they secured loan deals for Eidur Gudjohnsen, Jermaine Pennant and Marc Wilson.

Stoke City were the most active Premier League club on transfer deadline day as they secured loan deals for Eidur Gudjohnsen, Jermaine Pennant and Marc Wilson.They also resigned midfielder Salif Diao on a new two-year contract. The club also made a bid for Charles N'Zogbia, the Wigan Athletic winger, and an enquiry for Lucas Leiva, the Liverpool midfielder, but they were rebuffed by both clubs. Having lost their opening three fixtures of the new campaign Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager, moved to address the alarming slump by bolstering his defence, midfield and attacking options as he plots to keep the Potters in the Premier League for a third successive season

Gudjohnsen, 31, the Icelandic forward who spent last season on loan at Tottenham Hotspur, agreed a season-long loan switch to the Potteries from the French club Monaco, where he is well down the pecking order. The 27-year-old Pennant, who has plenty of Premier League experience having represented Arsenal, Birmingham City and Liverpool in the English top flight, joins from the Spanish club Real Zaragoza until January.

Wilson, the Portsmouth defender and captain, makes a quick return to the top tier after suffering relegation with debt-ridden Pompey last season. Initially the deal for Wilson hinged on a player-plus cash deal involving Stoke's out of favour duo Liam Lawrence and Dave Kitson moving in the opposite direction to Fratton Park, but Lawrence, the Republic of Ireland midfielder, was not keen on a move to the south coast of England.

Diao, the former Liverpool midfielder whose contract at the Britannia Stadium expired at the end of last season, has re-joined the club on a two-year deal and in addition to his new contract the 33-year-old Senegalese will also take on an ambassadorial role for the club in Africa and other parts of the world. "It's great to be back home. I love the club and I love the supporters, so I always hoped something could be sorted out," he said. "I feel there is still unfinished business and I want to help Stoke City continue the excellent progress made in my time here.

"Tony Pulis is more than a manager to me and I want to repay the faith that he has shown in my ability at this stage in my career. "I believe I can still make a big contribution as a player but it is also very exciting that I have another important role to play which could help bring new talent to the club in the future." Pulis added: "It is fantastic to see Salif back because he is not only an experienced head, he is a good person to have around the place."

* Compiled by Steve Luckings