Stoke City record signing Giannelli Imbula leaves on loan to

Stoke City’s record signing Giannelli Imbula has left the club, and joined Toulouse on a season-long loan.

The Frenchman struggled to make an impact at the bet365 Stadium following a £18.3 million move from Porto in February 2016.

He made just 28 appearances for the Staffordshire club, and has finally moved away following a summer of speculation linking him to several clubs.

The details

Imbula will wear the number 25 at his new club, and was presented on deadline day.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes had previously admitted that “things haven’t quite worked out” when it came to Imbula’s career in England.

While Stoke’s Phillip Wollscheid has also moved to France, joining FC Metz on a three-year deal.

On Imbula, Hughes said: "Sometimes players can come to clubs and find it more difficult and the Premier League is a different league as well. He has struggled with that to a certain extent.

"He probably hasn't progressed as well as we would have liked,” Hughes commented. “And that has been a frustration for him and for us." 

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Will Stoke replace Imbula?

This sale sees Stoke leave themselves with Joe Allen, Darren Fletcher, Charlie Adam and Geoff Cameron in centre-midfield. Stephen Ireland and Ibrahim Afellay are still on the books but have been out for extended periods with injuries.

Fletcher was signed from West Brom this summer, while Adam only recently extended his Stoke contract by a further year.

Manchester City’s Fabian Delph has been linked with a move to Stoke all summer, but as the clock winds down on the transfer window that deal grows ever more unlikely.

However, Stoke have spent on deadline day in the past and the club will no doubt be on the lookout for potential incomings today.

Imbula doesn’t look like he will be the last player to leave Stoke on loan today though, with Bojan strongly rumoured to be on his way to Spanish side Alaves for the season.