Ryan Shawcross is a big strong defender who initially joined Stoke City on loan in August 2007, signing permanently the following January. Ryan is very effective in the air, strong in the tackle and comfortable on the ball when moving forward to link up with the attack. He made his debut for the Potters on the opening day of the 2007-08 season, and went on to play a significant part in the club's promotion to the Premier League, scoring seven goals. He has remained a key figure in the line-up since then, mainly playing in central defence as well as filling in at left back. Ryan was appointed club captain for 2010-11 and was a near ever-present in the side, leading the club to their first ever FA Cup final and clinching a place in Europe. Ryan began his career with Manchester United, also spending time on loan with satellite club Royal Antwerp, but his first-team experience at Old Trafford was limited to a couple of outings from the bench in the Carling Cup before his move to Stoke.