Stoke City and Spurs haven’t been natural partners in the transfer world.
Stoke have made more than 30 signings from Port Vale over the last 150 years, more than 20 from Aston Villa and Wolves and double figures for at least another dozen from Leeds United to Liverpool.
But only six from Tottenham before the arrival of young winger Jack Clarke on loan this afternoon.
Here we caught up on the players that made the same journey and what happened next.
Signed for Stoke for a tribunal-set £350,000 in the late summer of 1996 having caught Spurs’ scouts attention four years previously with his performances for Glenavon in Northern Ireland. “It was the first time I’d ever been on an aeroplane,” he later admitted.
Fought for a starting place in Lou Macari’s last season in charge and scored the last Stoke goal in front of the Boothen End at the Victoria Ground, a flying header in the first half of the last game, against West Bromwich Albion.
Left bound for St Johnstone the following February and ultimately returned to Northern Ireland, where he went into coaching – and became a postman.
“Spurs offered me another four year contract,” he told the Belfast Telegraph in 2019. “I thought what they were offering me wasn’t enough to be perfectly honest. Elsewhere I was getting offered four times what they had put on the table.
“I went on loan to Udinese in Italy and Stuttgart in Germany. I loved Udinese and they offered me a deal but my agent didn’t want to take it and I don’t think my wife was too keen either so I ended up going to Stoke. I didn’t enjoy that at all. They didn’t play the type of football I wanted to play or was brought up playing at Spurs.
“Then I went to St Johnstone under Paul Sturrock who was a very good manager. They punched above their weight on a limited budget and we managed to get them into third place behind Celtic and Rangers.”
Had come through three often injury-plagued years at Tottenham before he joined Stoke in 2011 on a pay-as-you-play deal in time for the club’s Europa League adventure.
He even filled in at right-back under Tony Pulis – although the experiment only lasted 20 minutes when he went up against Matt Jarvis in an away win at Wolves.
Left for Middlesbrough at the end of the season and eventually became coach and then manager of his hometown club. Left in June 2020, handing over the reins to Neil Warnock in a battle to stay in the Championship.
Broke Stoke’s transfer record when he arrived in the late summer of 2011, just after the club had reached the FA Cup final.
Was already 30 at that point but went on to play more times for Stoke than any other club in his career, scoring 62 times as the mainstay of the attack under Tony Pulis then Mark Hughes.
Scored one of the best goals in Premier League history too, a wonderful volley past Manchester City’s Joe Hart in 2012.
These days he’s a star podcaster, insightful pundit, Daily Mail columnist and had his own BBC prime time show in the summer.
Had been a key figure for Spurs at times under Harry Redknapp, who said: “The crowd love him because he gets after it, he loves a tackle, he wins balls. He is a powerhouse. If you were a midfield player, he would not be top of your list to play against because I don’t care how good you are, he ain’t gonna let you play.
“When he is after you, he really is after you – not in a nasty way but in an aggressive way. He is a Graham Roberts type, who was the last one we had here like that.”
But it never worked out at Stoke, where – in part due to a persistent knee injury – he only made 53 appearances and had no real run in the team over four seasons.
It was there he found out he had once been on Barcelona’s short list, however, after a training ground conversation with Bojan.
“I found out recently,” Palacios explained, “that Barcelona loved me. There was gossip but I found out it was true later.”
He added: “When I was at Stoke City there was Bojan, who played for Barcelona and his father worked for the club.
“He told me that the team wanted me but there too options; me and Mascherano.
“Pep Guardiola decided for Mascherano and not me because they put pressure on him since he was Argentine and I was Honduran.”
Next stop was Miami before he returned to play in Honduras. Now an agent.
A disastrous £15m signing by Mark Hughes – the last signing of the Hughes era at Stoke – who has not played a minute for any subsequent manager.
Didn’t endear himself to Stoke fans when he smiled with his old Spurs teammates after a demoralising drubbing at Wembley in late 2017 and has had two loan moves away, first with Hannover and then Royal Excel Mouscron.
Has been training with Stoke under-23s this season, given the occasional run out in games with the juniors too, and there is hope but not all that much expectation that he will find a new club this month. Under contract until 2022.
Joined on a free transfer last January and is still trying to force his way into the first team plans under O’Neill.