STOKE CITY have today secured their first major signing for the 2013-14 season by capturing Dutch international defender Erik Pieters.
The 24-year-old left back has put pen-to-paper on a four year contract to seal his move from PSV Eindhoven for 3.6 million euros.
Pieters, who has won 17 international caps for Holland, completed the transfer to the Britannia Stadium after travelling to the Potteries for talks and a medical, thus strengthening new manager Mark Hughes' defensive resources.
City's Chief Executive Tony Scholes commented: "Erik has a considerable amount of experience of playing at the highest level, both on the international stage with Holland and in the Champions League with PSV Eindhoven.
"He is a player who was identified by our Technical Director Mark Cartwright as one who could strengthen our defensive options and we have been tracking his progress, so we are delighted to have brought him here now."
Hughes stressed: "I am delighted to have secured Erik's signature. The main focus this summer in attempting to strengthen the squad is ensuring it is balanced in key positions.
"While Erik is predominantly a left back, he has also played for his country as a central defender, so he gives us other options.
"We need good quality in our starting eleven and good quality back-up for all areas, which Erik will certainly give us defensively."
Pieters began his career with FC Utrecht; his emergence in the 2007-08 season leading to a move to PSV in a 2.5 million euro transfer.
When he continued that progress at PSV, it led to him making his international debut following the retirement of Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
In his five years at the Philips Stadium, Pieters has been a prominent figure in a side that has won domestic honours and competed in Europe.