Stoke City sign forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting on free

Stoke City have signed Cameroon forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting on a free transfer after his contract at Schalke expired.

He has signed a three year contract at the bet365 Stadium, and becomes Stoke’s fourth summer signing.

Stoke have already signed Darren Fletcher from West Bromwich Albion, Josh Tymon from Hull City and Kurt Zouma on loan from Chelsea.

The quotes

Stoke’s Chief Executive Tony Scholes said: “Eric has been on our radar for several years and we actually tried to bring him to the Club four years ago. 

“The competition to sign him this summer was particularly intense,” Scholes commented. “With clubs across Europe wanting him.

"We are understandably thrilled to have secured his signature and Eric is excited about the prospect of playing in the Premier League.”

Where does Choupo-Moting fit in?

Stoke have been looking for a winger-cum-striker to replace Marko Arnautovic, who left for West Ham earlier this summer and became Stoke’s record sale.

Mark Hughes’ side appeared to lack goals with their only strikers being Saido Berahino, Peter Crouch and Joselu.

In pre-season, Hughes has experimented with a number of formations but seemed to have landed on a 3-4-3, the front three being Bojan, Joselu and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Choupo-Moting could slot in at any of those front three roles but more importantly is another body, as offensive firepower was limited.

However, this news will come at a blow for Ramadan Sobhi, who looks further away from becoming a starter under Hughes.

The Egyptian performed very well in limited minutes last season, but after the sale of Arnautovic he would hope to have the chance to nail down a starting spot.

Choupo-Moting will be another competitor for Sobhi, but competition can bring the best out of players, which Hughes will no doubt hope is the result.