Bojan Krkic yesterday turned his back on life in Barcelona, Milan, Rome, Amsterdam and the Champions League for the Potteries, adorning the dotted line on some Stoke City-headed stationary for a four-year term.
Once regarded as the hottest prospect to emerge from Barca’s La Masia talent factory, the 23-year-old never quite scaled the heights his tutors believed he would, but in Mark Hughes, he has found the perfect mentor to harvest his vast potential.
Bojan’s signing certainly gives the beer goggle treatment to Stoke’s price of 2/1 to record a second successive Premier League top-ten finish.
Extracting brilliance from the one-cap Spain international was a task too heady for a string of high-profile counterparts, but proven career revivalist Hughes can succeed where his esteemed colleagues have failed.
Need convincing? Take a look at these players whose stock has soared under Sparky’s tutelage:
Roque Santa Cruz
Much like Bojan, the Paraguayan marksman arrived at Blackburn under a cloud of unrealised potential having scored just 31 league goals in 155 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern Munchen across seven seasons.
His strike rate markedly improved at Ewood Park, where he hit 19 league goals in 37 appearances, proving acclimatising to the rigours of the Premier League ain’t no thang with Hughes’ arm around your shoulder.
Jamie Carragher dubbed the Moroccan winger a ‘Monday-to-Friday player’ on account of the discrepancy between his performances in training and on a match day.
But Liverpool only afforded him 77 minutes of action in his first campaign in England, rendering Carra’s scathing assessment somewhat unfair,
Assaidi sparkled of occasion on loan at Stoke last season, silencing the Sky Sports soccer mogul with a few spectacular goals off the practice field.
Fulham had Hughes to thank for the acquisition of their 2013/14 player of the year, whom he took a chance on after three years out of four in the footballing wilderness at Chelsea and Aston Villa.
Potters fans will be hoping his re-signing of Sidwell four years later pays equal dividends.
The Brazilian briefly became the most expensive signing in British history when Manchester City signed him back in 2008.
Robson de Souza is yet bested the 14 goals he fired during his first 12 months in Citizen sky blue.