Stoke complete signing of PSV defender Pieters

Stoke have captured PSV Eindhoven defender Erik Pieters for around £3m, signifying new boss Mark Hughes’ first signing as Potters boss according to BBC Sport.

Hughes wants to build a well balanced squad as he leads Stoke into the next campaign, his first in charge at the Britannia Stadium. Pieters’ versatility is something that seemed to attract the Welshman to do business.

The former Fulham and Man City boss said: “While Erik is predominantly a left-back, he has also played for his country as a central defender, so he gives us other options.”

The 24-year-old has played for PSV since 2008, when he arrived from FC Utrecht. He is also a Dutch international, having been capped 17 times by his native Netherlands.

The move comes despite reports at the start of the month that Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal advised Pieters against moving to the midlands, stating he would rather see the defender continue his career at the Phillips Arena.

At the time, van Gaal had told Voetbal International.: “If players can choose from amongst the top four of the Eredivisie and a middle table foreign club, I always say stay at the top of the Dutch league.”

Pieters had suffered something of an injury-plagued season, resulting in just two Eredivisie appearances last season.

According to Stoke’s official website, Pieters said: ““Of course, I’ve always wanted to play in the Premier League,” he exclusively told www.stokecityfc.com. “It’s one of the hardest competitions to play in with some great players and teams and I’m really excited about it.

“I’m really looking forward to playing for this Club. It’s important for me that the first impression is good and I’ve got a great feeling about Stoke City. I’ve always had good feelings about all the Clubs I’ve played for when I’ve first joined them and this one is no different.

“Of course, I’ve always wanted to play in the Premier League. It’s one of the hardest competitions to play in with some great players and teams and I’m really looking forward to it.”

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