Saturday 29 June 2013
New Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has made his first signing of the summer with the acquisition of PSV Eindhoven left-back Erik Pieters.
The 24-year-old, who has won 17 international caps for the Netherlands, has signed a four year contract after a fee of 3.6 million euros was agreed.
“I am delighted to have secured Erik's signature,” Hughes told Stoke's website. “The main focus this summer in attempting to strengthen the squad is ensuring it is balanced in key positions.
"The Premier League is one of the hardest competitions to play in with some great players and teams"
“While Erik is predominantly a left-back, he has also played for his country as a central defender, so he gives us other options. We need good quality in our starting eleven and good quality back-up for all areas, which Erik will certainly give us defensively.”
Pieters was excited by the move to England and looking forward to the new Barclays Premier League season which starts for Stoke with a trip to Liverpool on 17 August.
“I’ve always wanted to play in the Premier League,” he said. “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.”
City’s Chief Executive Tony Scholes said: “Erik has a considerable amount of experience of playing at the highest level, both on the international stage with Holland and in the Champions League with PSV Eindhoven.
“He is a player who was identified by our Technical Director Mark Cartwright as one who could strengthen our defensive options and we have been tracking his progress, so we are delighted to have brought him here now.”