Mark Hughes lands Barca’s Muniesa.
As difficult as it may be to believe Stoke City have completed the signing of Barcelona and Spain under-21 defender Marc Muniesa on a free transfer.
Muniesa has recently returned from the under-21 European Championships in Israel where the Spanish youngster was part of the squad that won the tournament.
It’s quite the coup for newly appointed manager Mark Hughes who has links with Barca having spent a year with the La Liga giants as a player in 1986/87.
It also signals a change in style for Stoke and lends some credit to Hughes after the Welshman’s appointment at the Britannia Stadium was not met with positive vibes from all the fans.
Muniesa is the former QPR boss’ second signing at the Potters having also secured the signature of PSV Eindhoven left-back Erik Pieters for £3m.
The 21-year-old Spaniard can also operate on the left side of defence, as well as centrally and the ex-Barca man is seemingly delighted to have swapped the Mediterranean coast to be in Staffordshire.
“It wasn’t a big decision for me to make. I came to England yesterday to meet the people at the club and look around the training ground, which is very impressive,” Muniesa told the Stoke website.
“My season only finished a fortnight ago when the European Championships ended, but I can’t wait to get started for Stoke. I would start tomorrow if the club asked me to.”
The defender made his debut for Barcelona aged just 17, becoming the second youngest player to make a senior appearance in the club’s history – although was also sent off.
Mostly Muniesa featured for the Spanish champions B team and was targeted by several other clubs in his home nation before signing for Stoke.
Stoke fans will be hoping the defender’s debut for them isn’t like this one for Barca: