Stoke have announced the signing of Greece left-back Kostas Stafylidis on loan from FC Augsburg for the rest of the season – and Paul Lambert is working hard on more new arrivals.
The 24-year-old becomes the second new addition to Stoke’s squad of the current transfer window – right-back Moritz Bauer having already joined on a permanent deal from Rubin Kazan – and the first since Paul Lambert’s appointment as Potters manager on Monday.
Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes said on the club’s official website: “Having played in Germany himself, Paul Lambert is a keen observer of the Bundesliga and I know he has been impressed by what he has seen of Kostas in action for Augsburg.
“We have moved quickly to add to our defensive resources by bringing him to the club and we’re delighted to have secured his services until the end of the season.”
Stafylidis spent the 2014-15 season in English football with Fulham on loan from Bayer Leverkusen, making 38 Championship appearances for the Cottagers.
The defender, who has 21 caps, joined Augsburg at the start of 2015-16 and was a regular in the team before this season, in which he has made only two Bundesliga appearances, the last coming in November.
Regarding Stafylidis’ potential involvement in the Premier League home clash with Huddersfield on Saturday, Lambert said at Thursday’s pre-match press conference: “I have to see how fit he is and how he’s feeling.
“He hasn’t played for a couple of months, so we’ll have to see.
“I think he’s a really good left-back, with lots of energy, which we need, and it puts competition in the team, which I think is really important.”
Lambert was then asked how many more signings he thought could be in by transfer deadline day, and said: “If we can bring one or two in… and I’m sure everybody at the club will work together to try to do it.
“I have to be fair to the lads who are already here and let them show me what they can do because they are a talented group, but if I can help them and bring people in, then I’ll do it.”
Lambert also said he will speak to Bojan Krkic, amid reports the playmaker wants to cut his season-long loan at Alaves short and return to Stoke.
Saturday’s match could see Ryan Shawcross return to action, with the club captain – missing recently due to a calf injury – having trained this week.
Fellow defenders Erik Pieters, sidelined of late by a hamstring problem, and Glen Johnson have also trained ahead of what will be Stoke’s first game with Lambert in charge.
They go into the contest 18th in the table, a point adrift of safety, and having lost six of their last eight league matches.
In their 23 this season they have conceded 50 goals, more than any other club in the division.