Football

Stoke to unleash new man Jese

STOKE CITY ARSENAL

Mark Hughes is confident Stoke will offer on-loan Paris St Germain frontman Jese Rodriguez the perfect platform to show why he is one of Europe's elite players.

The 24-year-old, who came through the youth ranks at Real Madrid, has signed for the Potters on a season-long loan just over a year after costing the French club almost £22 million (S$38.7m).

Jese failed to make an impact at PSG, scoring just once in Ligue 1 before a temporary switch to Las Palmas during the January transfer window.

Hughes could well hand the Spaniard his Premier League debut when Arsenal head to the Bet365 Stadium for the clash.

Julien Ngoy, Ibrahim Afellay and Stephen Ireland are sidelined with injuries.

Jese spent nine seasons at the Bernabeu, scoring 12 goals in 62 league appearances, most of them as a substitute, and was part of the Champions League-winning squads of both 2014 and 2016.

Hughes remains positive of just what he can bring to a Stoke squad which have seen the likes of Marko Arnautovic and Joselu both move on during the summer.

The Stoke manager said yesterday: "I think we can give him a platform here to really enjoy himself.

"Everyone is excited to see him play. He is an elite player, a top-level player and you don't get too many opportunities to bring players like him to the club, so when you do, you should enjoy it."

Meanwhile, Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista is closing in on a move to Valencia as Arsene Wenger begins the process of trimming his squad.

Centre back Gabriel will be the first of those to depart, although the likes of Lucas Perez, Calum Chambers and Joel Campbell are also staring at an Arsenal exit.

Press Association Sport understands a fee in the region of £10m has been agreed, with the 26-year-old expected to sign a five-year contract. - PA SPORT