This is what happened next to Stoke City’s relegation villains


Stoke are still paying the price for their relegation from the Premier League in 2017/18, but how are the villains from that season now faring?

We’ve taken a look at three of them, names that will send a shiver down the spine of Stoke fans for years to come…

JESE

Stoke City flop Jese Rodriguez has signed for Sporting Lisbon.

Those still bearing a grudge will be happy to see that he’s proving just as successful for Sporting Lisbon as he did for Stoke.

He moved to Portugal at the start of the season in a season-long loan deal from PSG – sound familiar? – and appears to have kept his nose a little cleaner than he did during his time at Stoke.

But his record on paper is pretty pitiful, in truth, after scoring just the one goal in six starts and six sub appearances in the league.

It works out to a goal every 523 minutes.

So why was he so unpopular at Stoke?

His absences were initially excused because of his young child’s illness back home, but the suspicion that he was playing on the fact became apparent when he began posting pictures of himself relaxing at home – one lying in bed playing with his two children –  when he should have been training.

And there are still those wondering whether Charlie Adam might have buried that crucial late penalty against Brighton had he not had to wrestle the ball off a petulant team-mate beforehand.

Saido Berahino threatened to kickstart his career under Gary Rowett at Stoke City – but the majority of his two-year stay was forgettable.

SAIDO BERAHINO

With a charge sheet as long as your arm during his time at Stoke, he became a hugely embarrassing symbol of the club’s flawed recruitment policy.

Once destined for Tottenham and the upper echelon of the Premier League, he is now trying to resurrect his career in the Belgian backwaters of Zulte Waregem.

He made the unlikely move to Belgium after leaving Stoke by mutual consent back in August.

Waregem were lying ninth out of 16 clubs in the Belgian top flight when games were recently halted and Berahino’s contribution has been six goals in 17 starts and one sub appearance.

Half decent, albeit nowhere near Premier League standards.

Not that standards is a word used to describe Berahino’s two-and-a-half years in the Potteries.

Dogged by fitness and attitude problems – he was usually the last one through the door for any meeting – successive Stoke managers were left banging their head against the nearest wall only because it was no longer legal use the player’s head instead.

His goalscoring stats were mind boggling, but for all the wrong reasons, as his first goal for the club ended a career run of 913 days, 48 appearances and more than 40 hours of competitive football since his last strike.

His drink-driving charge in February last year was the final straw and he never played for the club again.

No wonder former team-mate Glenn Johnson told talkSPORT listeners: “If I was the manager or owner of a football club, I wouldn’t take him if you paid me.”

Kevin Wimmer watches on from the sidelines.

KEVIN WIMMER

When he arrived at Stoke the question was: Do we really need a centre half?

And before long the answer was: Yes we do, but not this one.

With a body far bigger than his reputation, he hit the ground waddling and could do little to help as Stoke began conceding goals left, right and centre en route to relegation by the end of his first season at the club.

They conceded 34 times in his 14 league starts and the ninth of those starts starts was possibly the nadir of his Stoke career because it came on the day his new side lost 5-1 to his old side at Wembley.

Tottenham’s victory was symptomatic of Stoke’s flailing season and yet, despite that, Wimmer took the trouble to post a picture after the game  showing himself embracing his big buddy Heung Min Son with a message to Spurs fans.

Wimmer never even made the matchday 18 once Paul Lambert had replaced Mark Hughes and promptly choked at the sight of his defender’s fitness levels.

Like Berahino, Wimmer is now treading the boards in Belgium, with the grandly-titled Royal Excel Mouscron, and has been playing reasonably regularly (17 league appearances) in midfield as well as defence.

Not much prospect of them buying him for anything other than a severe knock-down price however.

And sadly, unlike Jese and Berahino, Wimmer is still Stoke’s problem because he remains under contract until 2022, though he has admitted that the prospect of returning to the Potteries is “not necessarily what I want and dream”.

For once, his sense of anticipation is spot on.





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