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Stoke City midfielder moves to Spain on season long loan

Stoke City midfielder Gainnelli Imbula has moved to La Liga side Rayo Vallecano on loan for the season reports The BBC.

The French under-21 international was Stoke’s record signing in February, 2016, signed when Mark Hughes was manager of the club from Porto, for a few of £18.3 million. However, the defensive midfielder has struggled to justify his transfer fee, and was loaned out last year to French side Toulouse, for whom he made a total of 34 appearances in all competitions.

New Stoke manager Gary Rowett has made it clear that Imbula does not form part of his current plans, so the 25-year old is being sent on loan again this time to newly promoted Vallecano, who are back in the top flight of Spanish football after a two year absence.

Stoke have made a difficult start to life back in The Championship, and had to wait until last weekend to secure their first win against Hull City. However, they did progress to the third round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, a match that was noteworthy because Stoke forward Saido Berahino ended his 913 day goal drought.

Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.