Barcelona outcast Bojan Krkic has joined Stoke City in the hope of finally finding his sense of belonging and Potters boss Mark Hughes vows to bring out the best in him.
The 23-year-old has spent the last three seasons playing as a part-timer for some of Europe’s leading sides including Serie A runners-up AS Roma and Dutch Erdivisie champions Ajax.
A product of Barcelona’s youth academy, Bojan displayed promising potential from a young age but could not make his mark on the La Liga heavyweights amidst stiff competition from some of the world’s elite players.
He failed to make an impression in Italy and Holland too and has now opted for life in England with Stoke boss Hughes in the hope he can finally find his place as a first team regular.
Hughes took it upon himself to win the affections of the Spaniard by making a direct approach earlier this summer. The Welshman laid out his long term development plans for the Stoke side and assured Bojan he would heavily feature.
Bojan did not take long to consider the attractive proposal he had been presented with and took the plunge, committing to a four-year permanent deal which meant he would no longer be ‘lost property’ of the Nou Camp.
Hughes has confidence in the player’s ability to regain his best form and is certain that, with a little help from his team mates, Bojan can at last feel a sense of belonging.
“You can just see his ability and tell that he’s played at the top level,” he told Sky Sports News.
“He’s a young man who has come to us with the attitude of getting back on track.
“A lot of people doubted him but the quality is clearly there and it’s just a case of bringing it out of him.
“He’s a nice kid and the fact that we have a few Spanish speakers in the dressing room should help.
“From speaking to him he didn’t seem to have a relationship with the players at (loan side) Ajax and that must have made things difficult. That shouldn’t be the case here.”
Bojan has already displayed a little of the potential he has to offer by opening the score sheet for the Potters against Bundesliga side Schalke 04 on their pre-season tour in Germany this week.
Stoke may have lost the game 2-1, but the supporters are hopeful that Bojan’s performance on Tuesday is an indication of the positive things they have to look forward to from the former Barcelona man during the season ahead.