Stoke City sign Kevin Wimmer from Tottenham Hotspur in £18
million deal

Stoke City have completed the signing of defender Kevin Wimmer from Tottenham Hotspur in an £18 million deal.

The defender has signed a five-year deal at the bet365 Stadium and becomes Mark Hughes’ seventh summer signing.

Stoke now have a four quality centre-backs at the club, as Wimmer joins new boy Kurt Zouma, club captain Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi joined the club permanently this summer.

The quotes

Stoke manager Hughes said: “Kevin is an undoubted talent and he will significantly add to the quality of the group of players that I already have at my disposal.”

“We put a real emphasis on trying to enhance the defensive areas of the squad this summer” the Welshman added. “And we feel that we have been able to do that.”

Wimmer himself said: “I had some really good conversations with the manager, Mark Hughes, and they were important for me.

“He is a very good manager and I like the way he approaches the game,” the former Spurs man said. “His style of play suits the way I like to play too - he likes his defenders to be able to play out with the ball."

While Stoke Chief Executive Tony Scholes also commented on the move, saying: “We are delighted to have been able to conclude a deal to bring Kevin to the Club.

“He has been in huge demand this summer having shown his qualities in the Premier League during his two years with Tottenham Hotspur,” Scholes told the club website. “So we are delighted that he has chosen to continue his career here at the bet365 Stadium.”

How does Wimmer fit in?

It is a tough question, as Stoke have been playing a 3-4-3 type formation with three good centre-backs already in Zouma, Shawcross and Martins Indi.

A fourth centre-back was always needed for Stoke, to improve depth in case one of those three got injured or Hughes needed to rotate for form or fitness reasons.

However, signing Wimmer for £18 million, just shy of their record deal of £18.3 million for Giannelli Imbula in February 2016, means he will likely slot into the starting eleven.

On his role in the team, Wimmer said: “At every top Premier League football club there are groups of players in every position chasing those starting spots, and that is the case here, I know I will have to work hard and keep on improving to be successful,” he added.

There are players of real quality here in every position” the 24-year-old claimed. “And for me that is good, it helps generate good competition for places and drives us on to hopefully progress even further."

It was reported that West Brom were also after Wimmer, but that deal broke down because manager Tony Pulis wanted to play the Austrian at left-back, so it appears that Wimmer is expected to play in the middle for Stoke.

Hughes would unlikely drop his club captain Shawcross, as there is enough pressure on his job already and that move could risk him losing the dressing room.

While Zouma was loaned in to play regular games this season, and Martins Indi had a stellar season on loan at Stoke last year.

It is a real conundrum for Hughes, but one he will welcome.