New boys van Ginkel, Given reveal their wishlist

Stoke City's three new signings (from left) Shay Given, Marco van Ginkel and Glen Johnson will be making their club debuts in Singapore at this week's Barclays Asia Trophy. Stoke play Everton in the tournament opener on Wednesday.
Stoke City's three new signings (from left) Shay Given, Marco van Ginkel and Glen Johnson will be making their club debuts in Singapore at this week's Barclays Asia Trophy. Stoke play Everton in the tournament opener on Wednesday.PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK SCOTT

Stoke City's transfer dealings have been akin to a revolving door over the past week.

The arrival of recent acquisitions Marco van Ginkel, Shay Given and Glen Johnson - who is expected to confirm his transfer in the next few days - in Singapore yesterday means the Potters will now have six new faces in their squad for this week's Barclays Asia Trophy.

The trio came with a group of new club-mates, including the likes of Charlie Adam and Jon Walters, who were given an extended rest after recent international exertions.

Dutch international van Ginkel is certainly raring to go, after two injury-riddled seasons at parent club Chelsea and on loan at AC Milan.

WHAT HE BRINGS TO THE TABLE

I am a box-to-box player and I think I can make a contribution both up front and defensively. I work hard, that's what I want to bring to the team.

MARCO VAN GINKEL, Dutch midfielder

"My objectives are to be fit and playing games. I had one big knee injury and a couple of little injuries that stopped me from playing but hopefully this year I will be fit all season, be important to the team and get used to the Premier League," the 22-year-old midfielder said.

 

WHY HE JOINED STOKE

(Hughes) brought me from Newcastle to Man City and it worked well there. They (Stoke) have had a fantastic past couple of seasons and I wanted to be a part of that.

SHAY GIVEN, Irish goalkeeper

He hopes a good pre-season with Stoke will help him re-discover the same swashbuckling style of play that persuaded Chelsea to part with a reported £9 million (S$18.8 million) for his services in 2013.

"I am a box-to-box player and I think I can make a contribution both up front and defensively. I work hard, that's what I want to bring to the team. Hopefully I can be important with goals and assists," said van Ginkel.

Veteran goalkeeper Given, 39, welcomes the chance to link up with manager Mark Hughes again, signing a two-year deal after leaving Aston Villa on a free transfer.

"My good relationship with Hughes was a big factor," he explained.

"He brought me from Newcastle to Manchester City and it worked well there. They (Stoke) have had a fantastic past couple of seasons and I wanted to be a part of that."

He is relishing the chance to stake his claim to be Stoke's new No. 1 at his second Barclays Asia Trophy experience, having taken part in the 2011 edition with Villa.

"It is great because even though it is a long way away, we know how big the Barclays Premier League is in this part of the world," he said.

"There is a big tradition of goalkeepers at Stoke down the years (Gordon Banks, Peter Shilton) and I would love to add to that."

Low Jay Sen

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2015, with the headline 'New boys van Ginkel, Given reveal their wishlist'. Print Edition | Subscribe