Tony Pulis has faith in Stoke signing Jonathan Woodgate

12 July 2011 01:42
Whatever the physical condition of defender Jonathan Woodgate, there has never been any doubt about his quality.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis is the latest to hope the 31-year-old's perennial battle with injury will not stop him making a valuable contribution to his team's cause.

Pulis has offered a pay-as-you-play deal to Woodgate, who will be hoping to stay fit for a few more years after being released by Tottenham.

Fresh start: Jonathan Woodgate will attempt to relaunch his career at Stoke

Just 49 Barclays Premier League appearances in three seasons shows how injuries have blighted a player whose transfer fees total ?37.4million.

'Hopefully, I can stay fit now,' admitted Woodgate, who will have an early chance to shine on television with Stoke's opening match against Chelsea live on Sky on August 14.

Lifeline: Jonathan Woodgate has a chance to resurrect his injury-plagued career

'I feel I still have a lot to offer at this level. I was thrilled when Tony Pulis asked me to come and join the club. With the back-up from the medical and sports science department which they have here at Stoke, that can only help my prospects of doing that.'

Pulis is delighted to have signed the former England player on a one-year contract with a 12-month extension option.

'The lad is a top-class player. He has had his injury troubles but we believe that if his fitness is managed properly he will play games for us,' he said.

Carling Cup winner: Woodgate scored the winner in the final against Chelsea in 2008

Another centre back, Roger Johnson, is on his way to Wolves from Birmingham in a ?7m deal. Johnson hopes to complete the formalities on Tuesday.

The Championship club have also agreed compensation with Aston Villa for manager Alex McLeish. The compromise, believed to be around ?2m, includes McLeish's right-hand man Peter Grant and Dr Ian McGuinness. 

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Source: Daily_Mail