Stoke City’s record signing Imbula joins Toulouse on loan

Date published: Thursday 31st August 2017 1:00 - Joe Williams

Stoke’s record signing Giannelli Imbula has joined Toulouse on loan for the rest of the season.

Imbula moved to the Potters for £18.3million from Porto at the end of last year’s January transfer window but has failed to live up to expectations.

He made only 12 starts in the Premier League last term and was yet to make an appearance under Mark Hughes this season.

The 24-year-old has a contract with Stoke until 2021 but will spend the rest of the campaign at Ligue 1 Toulouse in the hope of rediscovering his form.

A Stoke statement said Imbula had “struggled to adjust to life at the bet365 Stadium following his high profile switch from Porto two years ago”.

Shawcross’s representatives had been in protracted talks with the Potters over a new deal for several months, prompting speculation over the future of the former Manchester United defender.

But the Potters’ skipper, first handed the captain’s armband in 2010 by former manager Tony Pulis, always made clear his intention to stay at the Britannia Stadium.

He joined Stoke from United, initially on loan, in August 2007 and scored the only goal on his debut in a win at Cardiff.

His move was made permanent the following January and he played a key role for the club when they won promotion to the Premier League in 2008.

Shawcross, who also had a loan spell at Royal Antwerp earlier in his career, is closing in on his 400th appearance for the Potters.

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