By 90Min
August 20, 2019

Giannelli Imbula has called his decision to join Stoke City in 2016 the worst choice of his career.

The Potters paid a club record €24m to sign the midfielder from Porto in 2016, having spent just six months in Portugal before being moved on to the bet365 in the January transfer window after struggling to settle.

Regarding the move, the 26-year-old told RMC Sport: “These days I have a bit more experience. I probably should have thought more about certain things, but it’s in the past. The worst choice of my career was to come to Stoke. I could have been more patient at Porto, try to adapt to the league. The most regrettable choice is probably the Stoke one.”

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After making a good start in the Premier League, helping Stoke to a ninth placed finish in the 2015/16 season, Imbula’s poor start to the following campaign saw him fall out of favour with then-Potters manager Mark Hughes.

The defensive midfielder made just 28 appearances for Stoke before loan spells with Toulouse and Rayo Vallecano. Imbula looked to have found his home in Spain after scoring a stunning long-range winner in his debut, but that ended up being his only goal for the club as they were relegated from La Liga last season.

On his current situation the France Under-21 International said: “I’m still at Stoke. I started training back on 1st July. We agreed I would train with the Under-23s. I’m waiting for a medium to long term project to try and restart my career and find the same pleasure I had in Spain last year.”

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Imbula last found success in the 2014/15 season under now-Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa at Marseille. Forming an effective partnership with Andre Ayew, Andre-Pierre Gignac and Dimitri Payet, Imbula helped the Olympians to a fourth-place finish.

Responding to questions of a potential return to France, where he helped Guingamp achieve promotion to Ligue 1 and was named Ligue 2 Player of the Year in 2013, Imbula said: “Ligue 1, I’m interested, I’m open to all projects, there are contacts with some clubs.

“My desires? Find a club that will trust me in the medium or long term, a project in which I will be able to settle. These last two-three years, I’ve moved a lot, I’d like to settle down, have some stability.”

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