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Gudjohnsen heads mass Stoke intake

SoccerNews in English Premier League, Ligue 1 31 Aug 2010

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Icelandic international striker Eidur Gudjohnsen joined English Premier League side Stoke on loan for the season on Tuesday from French Ligue 1 outfit Monaco.

The 31-year-old, who won the Champions League with Barcelona before moving to Monaco last year, was one of four players that Stoke signed on transfer deadline day and said he was delighted to be back playing in a league where he enjoyed great success with first Bolton and then Chelsea.

“I am delighted to be here, it is a new challenge, but one that I am really looking forward to,” Gudjohnsen told the club website.

“After speaking to the manager (Tony Pulis) and hearing his and the club’s ambitions, he really swayed my mind, and I am delighted the deal is done.”

Pulis for his part was overjoyed to have persuaded a player with Gudjohnsen’s ability to join them.

“This is a fantastic signing for the club because Eidur is a player of outstanding international calibre who has performed at the highest level,” Pulis told the club website.

Pulis – who guided them to a respectable 11th place in their first season in the Premier League – also signed 27-year-old former Liverpool and Leeds winger Jermaine Pennant on loan from Real Zaragoza till January.

Pulis, who has been in charge since 2006, also signed highly-regarded 23-year-old Republic of Ireland Under-21 international midfielder Marc Wilson from Championship side Portsmouth which saw Stoke duo Liam Lawrence and Dave Kitson move the other way.

“This is a great club which is on the up and so this is a positive move for me,” said Wilson, who represents the Republic of Ireland despite being born in Northern Ireland.

“I had a taste of playing in the Premier League last season, its the best league in the world and I wanted to get back there as soon as possible,” added Wilson, who missed out on Portsmouth’s FA Cup final appearance last term because he was injured.

Pulis also persuaded Senegalese international midfielder Salif Diao to re-sign for two years, just months after he had decided to leave the club.

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