DEAN WHITEHEAD enjoyed a resurgence towards the back end of 2011-12... and will be hoping that puts him at the forefront of Tony Pulis’ plans for the new season.
The tireless midfielder started seven of the Potters’ last nine Premier League games, and impressed onlookers with his dynamic displays from the middle of the park.
In total, Whitehead racked up 33 starts in all competitions, and had a big part to play in the Club’s European adventure, appearing in ten of the matches.
Europa League trips demonstrate how far the 30-year-old has come in his career so far, having started off as an apprentice at Oxford United.
Born in nearby Abingdon, Whitehead appeared 122 times in the league for his local club, winning the Player of the Season award in 2003-04.
His influential performances earned him a move to Sunderland the following summer, and he made an immediate impact by winning Players’ Player of the Season as they lifted the Championship title.
He went onto play over 200 times for the Black Cats, before City made their move in July 2009, offering £5m for his services.
Whitehead duly accepted, citing the club’s team spirit as the main reason for his switch, and netted his first Potters goal in the 3-1 FA Cup Fourth Round win over the Arsenal the following January.
His solitary goal of last season, a strike in the 2-1 win against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Europa League, came in his 100th appearance for the Club.