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Stoke City FC Player Profiles

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UPDATED 06:51 17th July 2012

THE GIANT Bosnian international continued on his upward curve of development throughout the 2011-12 campaign, although he didn’t always have things his own way thanks to stern competition from Thomas Sorensen for the No.1 jersey.

The £3.25 million signing from Portsmouth started the season as first choice, and has largely continued in that role, although he did have a spell as Sorensen’s deputy midway through the year.

Despite that blip, the 24-year-old’s quality has shone through between the sticks, and he played an important role in securing another year of Premier League football for the Potters.

It's perhaps not surprising then that Pulis faced competition from Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea when he made his move for the 'keeper in the 2010 January transfer window, but a move from Pompey was eventually sealed before the deadline.

Standing at 6ft 6in, he began his career in Bosnia as a youngster with FC Kirchhausen. However, after impressing on trial with Portsmouth, he was offered terms to join the Pompey Academy where he worked with City First Team Coach Mark O'Connor.

After impressing former boss Harry Redknapp, he was then offered his first professional contract two years after his arrival at Fratton Park, but he was soon loaned out to lower league French side La Louviere to gain regular first team football.

A year later he moved out on a similar loan to Macclesfield Town before following that up with temporary moves to both Bournemouth and Yeovil Town.

He then went on to make his long-awaited Pompey debut where he was influential in their vital 3-1 Barclays Premier League victory against Sunderland.

After a productive pre-season campaign, Begovic was then allowed to spend the first part of the 2009-10 campaign out on loan with Ipswich Town. An injury to England international David James meant he was recalled back to Fratton Park soon after, though, much to the disappointment of Tractor Boys boss at that time Roy Keane.

Ten successive games for Avram Grant's side followed before James returned to the starting line-up in a 2-0 defeat against Manchester City as speculation mounted regarding the future of one of Portsmouth's most sellable assets in January 2010.

Having represented Canada at Under 21 level on 11 occasions, he arrived in the Potteries following that £3.25 million transfer as a fully-fledged international, having pledged his allegiance to the country of his birth Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Following that decision, he was soon handed his debut for the country in September 2009, where he helped them to a 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory against Estonia. He has since established himself as his country’s No.1.