How do you judge Stoke City’s transfer business in the Mark Hughes era?
Some brilliant hits? More hits than misses? Or misses so bad to overshadow the hits?
We have followed what has happened next with all the players brought in under his watch.
Erik Pieters: First signing through the door he was a fixture at left-back up until January, collating just more than 200 appearances. Now aged 31, he quickly fell out of favour under Nathan Jones, spent the second half of last season on loan at partner club Amiens, in France, and was sold to Burnley in the summer.
Marc Muniesa: Versatile defender, now aged 28, joined hometown club Girona in 2018 after spending the previous season there on loan, helping them stay in La Liga.
Popular Catalan has since moved on to Al Arabi.
Marko Arnautovic: No love lost at the end as Arnautovic, now 30, manoeuvred an £18m exit just a year after signing an extended and improved contract to become West Ham United’s key man.
Greeted by a hostile reception on his first visit back but it will be interesting to see how he is judged by history. The only consensus at that moment was that his hammer gesture made him look like a spanner.
History repeated itself as he engineered a switch to Shanghai SIPG last summer, where everything has been on hiatus.
But what a player – one of the modern contingent in Peter Coates’s all-time Stoke XI.
Stephen Ireland: Now aged 33 and there has never been any official retirement after recovering from a career-threatening double leg break he picked up in training. Injuries frustrated his Stoke career but he did show glimpses of game-changing quality.
He spent the first half of last season on a short-term contract at Bolton Wanderers. Look out for his son Josh, who is in a talented Stoke under-16s side and has played for England youth.
Juan Agudelo: The Juan that got away. Sorry. Refused a visa to play in the UK, much to Stoke’s chagrin.
Has recently signed for David Beckham’s Inter Miami.
Peter Odemwingie: A season-invigorating mid-term arrival in January 2014 became first Stoke player to score at a World Cup finals before his club career all-but came to an end with a devastating injury in a 1-0 away win at Manchester City.
Went on to play for Bristol City, Rotherham and Madura United in Indonesia and, now 38, has worked as a pundit, picking up coaching badges and is moving into golf.
Oussama Assaidi: The jet-heeled 31-year-old’s first loan spell was spattered with memorable moments, including that belting injury-time winner against Chelsea.
Lack of action in second due to Victor Moses, Mame Diouf, Jon Walters and Marko Arnautovic so went to play for mega money with Al-Ahli Dubai – where he was frustrated by a rule restricting the number of foreigners – and back to Holland for Twente.
Relegated in his first full season, he helped them win promotion in his second – but then left at the end of his contract without finding a new club.
John Guidetti: Swedish pundits promised excitement but he was overshadowed in half-season on loan by the goals and impact of Odemwingie. Didn’t start after short spell with Celtic he went to Spain to play for Celta Vigo and Alaves.
Three goals for Sweden and played at the World Cup. Joined Hannover on loan in January.
Phil Bardsley: Free transfer signing from Sunderland, he was first choice right-back for a season. These days, at 34, he plays in the Premier League for Burnley and is a regular guest on Radio 5 Live.
Steve Sidwell: Hung up his boots after spell with Brighton and, now aged 36, is forging a career in media, with TalkSport, Premier League TV and Sky among his regular haunts.
Mame Diouf: Brought back by Michael O’Neill after being put in cold storage by Nathan Jones and rarely been used by Gary Rowett… and having used more regularly at right wing-back in the latter months and years under Hughes.
When he was a striker he scored more goals in one season than any other player during Stoke’s decade in the Premier League.
Dionatan Teixeira: A strange signing from Hughes after a trial period, he only made two substitute appearances (wins at Aston Villa and Bournemouth) before leaving by mutual consent to join Sheriff Tiraspol in Moldova. Former teammates were stunned when he died at the age of 25 in November 2017 after suffering a heart attack back in Brazil.
Bojan: Ex-Barcelona prodigy, now aged 29, left Stoke last summer to join Montreal Impact.
Victor Moses: Injury-ravaged year on loan featured electric performances and Mark Hughes tried to sign him permanently. Jose Mourinho, however, wanted to keep him at Chelsea, sent him on loan to West Ham, and he was re-born as a title-winning wing-back under Antonio Conte.
Maurizio Sarri didn’t fancy him and went to Fenerbahce and then Inter Milan on loan.
Philipp Wollscheid: It seems a long time ago since an imperious performance as Stoke won a League Cup semi-final second leg at Liverpool, but were knocked out on penalties.
A disastrous loan spell at Wolfsburg was followed by a brief but bizarre stint with Metz, where he didn’t feature despite the club stinking Ligue 1 out. Left by mutual consent and joined his mates’ futsal team, who he helped reach the German national finals.
Still only 31.
Jakob Haugaard: Plucked from Denmark as Hughes rejigged his goalkeeping department following the exits of Thomas Sorensen and Asmir Begovic. Hasn’t featured for the first team since a baptism of fire at the end of 2015/16 and left last summer.
Signed for AIK, in Stockholm.
Joselu: The 29-year-old striker was a decent sub and will forever be remembered for that time he hugged Mark Clattenburg when Stoke were awarded a last gasp penalty to win 4-3 at Everton. Signed for Newcastle United and now with Alaves.
Shay Given: Veteran keeper arrived as deputy to Jack Butland. Now goalkeeper coach at Derby County.
Glen Johnson: Made his way back into the England squad after he rediscovered his form after leaving Liverpool as a free agent. Hampered by knee injury, he fell out of favour but was ultimately preferred to Moritz Bauer by Paul Lambert as Stoke tried to stay up.
Officially retired now and runs a property business down south, as well as making increasing forays into media.
Ibrahim Afellay: Left Stoke by mutual consent in January, having hurt his knee again in pre-season minutes after scoring at Walsall. Re-joined PSV Eindhoven, where he has received a hero’s welcome back.
Xherdan Shaqiri: The 28-year-old helped Liverpool win the Champions League last season but has been very much in the fringes this term.
Giannelli Imbula: Hughes ended up with Imbula after whittling down a short list to him or Axel Witsel in early 2016.
The frustrating enigma, aged 27, had loan spells at Toulouse, Rayo Vallecano and Lecce before being released and joined Sochi in Russia.
How long will he hold the crown as Stoke’s record buy?
Wilfried Bony: Signed permanently by Swansea after a lethargic season on loan at Stoke, where he was billed as the final piece of the jigsaw. The piece had put on too much weight to fit.
Now with Al-Ittihad.
Lee Grant: Emergency loan signing-turned-runaway player of the year after Jack Butland aggravated what turned out to be a season-ending ankle problem on the eve of the opening day in 2016. Joined Manchester United in the summer of 2018, where he has been on the bench behind David de Gea.
Saido Berahino: Erm, where do we start?
Joe Allen: Chased by Stoke and Southampton while Swansea dithered following a star turn at Euro 2016. Has been a key man ever since.
Ramadan Sobhi: Skilful young Egypt winger never delivered on his potential at Stoke and left for Huddersfield in the summer of 2018 before going back on loan to Al Ahly.
Bruno Martins Indi: Impressed on loan but Stoke took their time to bring him in for good, finally getting a deal over the line for £7m.
The 28-year-old then had injury problems as Hughes gorged on centre-halves and is currently filling in at left-back.
Darren Fletcher: The 36-year-old, a free signing from West Brom, was sidelined by Nathan Jones and left last summer. He was linked with a move back to Manchester United in a recruitment role and has worked as an insightful pundit on television and radio.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: Instagram prince, aged 28, negotiated a release from Stoke after one season at the club to join Paris St-Germain. A more unexpected transfer we’re yet to find.
Kurt Zouma: Back at Chelsea for the season after a loan at Everton and testing time at Stoke, where at least he proved his fitness following a bad knee injury.
Jese Rodriguez: A contender for the most unpopular Stoke player of all time. The 27-year-old forward almost joined Nantes on summer deadline day and is now on loan at Sporting Lisbon from Paris St-Germain and releasing more terrible music.
Kevin Wimmer: The £15m defender Stoke didn’t need. Hasn’t featured since the day Paul Lambert was appointed.
On a season-long loan at Royal Excel Mouscron after a dreadful year at Hannover.