Stoke take chance on free agent Woodgate

Stoke City FC coach Tony Pulis has praised the "stature and quality" of Jonathan Woodgate after signing the former England and Real Madrid CF defender on a one-year deal.

Jonathan Woodgate has been capped eight times by England
Jonathan Woodgate has been capped eight times by England ©Getty Images

Stoke City FC have completed the signing of former England defender Jonathan Woodgate on an initial one-year contract.

After leaving Tottenham Hotspur FC last week in the wake of an injury-plagued last two seasons in which he made just three Premier League appearances – in 2009/10 – and one UEFA Champions League appearance – in 2010/11 , Woodgate has been offered a part-salary, part play-as-you-play deal to turn out for the Potters for a season, with the option of a further year's contract.

"The lad is a top-class player and it's been well documented that he has had his injury troubles, but we believe that if his fitness is managed properly, he will play games for us," said Stoke manager Tony Pulis of the 31-year-old former England defender who has also played for Leeds United AFC, Newcastle FC, Real Madrid CF and Middlesbrough FC. "We know that other Premier League clubs were keen on signing Jonathan, so we are delighted he has chosen us. It's a chance we are taking, but one we were keen to take because of the stature and quality of the player."

Stoke will play in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round after reaching the final of the FA Cup, where they finished runners-up to UEFA Champions League participants Manchester City FC.