It might be wrong to say that Inter Miami have been besieged by interest from Stoke City fans on social media since signing Ryan Shawcross.
After all, David Beckham’s young club – who only played their first season in MLS last year – has a whopping 942,000 followers on Instagram compared to Stoke’s 415k… although Stoke (1m) dwarf them (160k) on Twitter.
But they have put out a post saying: “A warm welcome to Stoke City fans who will be following their former captain at Inter Miami.”
And there is more interest than normal from the Potteries in the 2021 MLS season, due to start in April. Stoke’s homegrown right-back Tom Edwards is also heading over to join New York Red Bulls.
And there might be a few black or pink tops spotted on the streets of North Staffordshire.
Shawcross has been given the number three shirt in Miami’s new roster while fellow signings Blaise Matuidi and Gonzalo Higuain have taken numbers eight and nine respectively.
The 33-year-old centre-back is looking forward to what lies ahead, saying: “It’s something that I’ve always watched out for, I’ve done a few preseasons in North America and I’ve always liked going to different locations. I’ve been to Columbus, Dallas, all these different places and the facilities have always been brilliant.
“I’ve always expected it to have a bit of a boom, especially with David Beckham a while ago, and it seems to be getting bigger and bigger. It’s something I wanted to be part of.
“Obviously Inter Miami has made some big signings with Higuaín, Matuidi and some really good players. It’s an interesting proposition I really wanted to get involved in.
“And obviously the new manager coming in Phil Neville, with all his experience it’s another great acquisition for the club – it’s a club going places.”
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Inter Miami sporting director Chris Henderson is expecting Shawcross to be a leader on and off the field.
He said: “Having someone with his experience and professionalism will help our team improve and reach for higher goals this year.
“You look at the longevity he’s had at one club at Stoke and the experience he has, and he can bring that to our club and be a leader.
”Ryan is going to be able to come here and be a leader, not only on the field, but his leadership will be seen with the young players and players coming through.”