Erik Pieters has not forgotten Dutchman Louis van Gaal’s words on his transfer from PSV to Stoke City in 2013.
Then-Netherlands manager Van Gaal said Pieters’ decision to join Premier League outfit Stoke lacked ambition.
But the Dutch left-back said he is happy with his decision almost three years on ahead of Van Gaal’s Boxing Day visit to the Britannia Stadium with Manchester United.
“I remember what he said,” Pieters told the Stoke Sentinel.
“People still think that Stoke will be relegated at the start of each season. It happened in my first season, second season and third season.
“But in the first season, we had a top-10 finish, the second season we did it again, and we are hoping we can do it three years in a row.
“I’m happy with my choice but I was always confident coming here was the right move. I’m happy with my move and I’m happy with how this season is going.”
Pieters, 27, said he still has big ambition for his career, but remains happy at Stoke.
“I feel good, the best I’ve felt in years. It’s my best season I’ve ever played and I hope that continues,” Pieters said.
“At the club as well, I do 100 per cent every time and hopefully that will help me get better and better.
“The Premier League is one of the hardest leagues to play in, especially over these two months.”