Stoke in double signing, Glen Johnson in the wings

AFP| Last Updated: Jul 11, 2015, 08:41 AM IST
Stoke in double signing, Glen Johnson in the wings

Veteran Irish international goalkeeper Shay Given and rarely-used Chelsea Dutch midfielder Marco van Ginkel joined mid-table English Premier League outfit Stoke on Friday.

Given, 39 and capped 129 times, joined on a free transfer from last season`s FA Cup finalists Aston Villa while van Ginkel, 22, has signed a season long loan deal from the English champions.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes is also confident former Liverpool and England right-back Glen Johnson will also sign in time to go on the club`s pre-season tour of Singapore.

Van Ginkel, who has two caps to his name for the Netherlands, has played just four times for Chelsea since signing for £8million ($12.4million, 11.1million euros) from Vitesse Arnhem in 2013.

He was loaned out to Serie A`s ailing giants AC Milan last term, where he spent two spells out injured but fought his way back to be an automatic first choice by the end of the season.

Van Ginkel could fill the vacancy left by French midfielder Steven Nzonzi, who joined Spain`s two-time Europa League defending champions Sevilla on Thursday with Stoke receiving a club record £7million.

"Marco will bring great energy to the side," said Hughes.

Hughes said that Given, who signed a two year contract, would be a huge help on and off the pitch.

"Shay will not only be a great asset on the pitch as an outstanding goalkeeper but he`s also a fantastic character to have in the dressing room and around the club," said Hughes, who had Given under him when he was in charge of Manchester City.

"He`s a true professional."

Given, who could have been brought in with a view to the probable departure of Bosnian international goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to Chelsea, and van Ginkel take Hughes`s number of signings to five in the close season.

Defender Philipp Wollscheid, goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard and striker Joselu are the others to have arrived.