ERIK PIETERS has revealed he is fulfilling a long-standing ambition by joining Stoke City.
The Dutch international today became the Club's first new signing of the summer when he checked-in at the Britannia Stadium from PSV Eindhoven.
The highly-regarded left back signed a four-year contract after the Potters agreed fee of 3.6million euros for his services and he’s already looking forward to the future under Mark Hughes.
"Of course, I've always wanted to play in the Premier League," he exclusively told Stoke City Player. "It's one of the hardest competitions to play in with some great players and teams and I'm really excited about it.
"I'm really looking forward to playing for this Club. It's important for me that the first impression is good and I’ve got a great feeling about Stoke City.
"I've always had good feelings about all the Clubs I've played for when I've first joined them and this one is no different.
"Of course, I've always wanted to play in the Premier League. It's one of the hardest competitions to play in with some great players and teams and I'm really looking forward to it."
Media reports had linked Pieters with a move to the Britannia Stadium since January, while Newcastle and Arsenal were also rumoured to be interested in landing him.
New Potters boss Hughes was delighted to win the race to secure the services of the 24 year old, who, in turn, is pleased to be able to draw a line under the speculation over his future.
"I'm glad everything has been sorted out," he added. "There has been a lot of talk about me but now everything is finalised I can look forward to the future with Stoke City.
"It will be difficult to leave Holland because everyone - family and friends - are there but it won't be a problem as they are only an hour's flight away."
After completing the formalities of his switch to the Britannia Stadium, Pieters flew back to Holland to make preparations for his move to England.
"I can't wait for the start of pre-season – it's a chance to meet new people and my new team-mates and it can't happen too soon," he revealed.
And what can Stoke's supporters expect to see from the new boy? "My first job is to defend but I always want to attack and contribute as much as I can for the team," he says. "I've played a couple of times in the centre of defence as well but left back is my position.
"I've had a few injuries but that's all in the past now; I feel really good and can't wait for my time as a Stoke City player to start."