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Stoke City finished in the bottom half of the Premier League table for the first team since Mark Hughes was appointed as the Potters’ boss back in 2013, replacing Tony Pulis, and successfully transformed them into an exciting outfit with a change in their style of play as well as recruiting high-profile names during the past four campaigns. Stoke’s game under Tony Pulis was notoriously known as ‘Pulisball’ who, despite playing unattractive and tedious football, used to be effective. He somehow managed to stay out of the drop zone. Hughes has changed them into an outfit with more intent and ambition.
However, they struggled in their season opener against Everton and suffered a 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park.
Hughes, despite being in enormous pressure to restore the lost stance and avoid an omission as Stoke’s boss, succeeded to secure a much-needed marquee signing in form of former Real Madrid starlet Jese Rodriguez, who has joined the Potters on a season-long loan after failing to grab enough first team opportunities for French giants Paris St-Germain, whom he joined last summer. Jese, 24, might have had an unimpressive loan term with La Liga outfit Las Palmas, but he is still a shrewd signing for definite reasons.
He started against Arsenal on Saturday and what a start he made! He scored the only goal of the game as Stoke beat Arsenal 1-0. He had his moments in the game and talking about the finish, it was simply sublime. A moment of confusion in Nacho Monreal’s mind was all what Jese needed to put the ball away into the net.
With a strong start to his Premier League career, here are 3 reasons why Jese Rodriguez will take the English top-flight by storm.
The former Spanish youth international has been a part of Real Madrid’s La Liga and Champions League winning sides and impressed in his limited senior opportunities for Los Blancos. Stoke hold a record of bringing in European stars, and have successfully recruited Xherdan Shaqiri, Bojan Krkic, Marko Arnautovic and Ibrahim Afellay over the past four campaigns. Jese is the newest addition to that list, who is still young and capable of leaving an immediate impact with his quality as well as experience of very highest order.
Jese, who progressed through the academy ranks of Real Madrid, is lauded for his versatility. He is swift in multiple positions up-front – impressed in an attacking midfield role, was explored on both the wings and also appeared as a second striker. The Spaniard will restore the creativity in Stoke City’s attacking third that looked toothless following the egress of Arnautovic.
Jese is known for his dribbling and passing skills, links up masterly with the fellow attackers, loves to do layoffs and cut inside to trouble the opponent’s back-line. He holds all those traits required to flourish in Mark Hughes’ style of football and restore them as a challenger for European football spots.