Speaking to French news outlet foottransfert, Stoke City’s record signing Gianelli Imbula has admitted that he was relieved to bring an end to his time with the club, bringing an end to his time with the Potters in February.

Gianelli Imbula arrived at Stoke City as a highly-rated midfielder, coming in for a record transfer fee from Portuguese giants FC Porto to test himself in the Premier League.

He enjoyed a decent start to life with the Potters, scoring his first goal for the club in his second appearance, netting from long range against Bournemouth. However, Imbula’s time with Stoke went downhill as time went on, falling out of favour in his second season with the club.

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About a year and a half after his arrival he was sent out on loan to Toulouse. From there on, Imbula went on to spend time out on loan with Rayo Vallecano and Italian side Lecce. Earlier this year, he brought an end to his Stoke disaster, joining Russian side FC Sochi on a free transfer in February.

Now, Imbula has reflected on his time with the club. Speaking to foottransfert, Imbula said that the club blocked proposals from a large French club and went on to admit that he was relieved to bring an end to his time with the club. He said:

“After Porto, I arrived in Stoke City at the end of January. It was for me, an opportunity to find playing time and access the English championship, knowing that the coach’s project was selling. The first few months went really well. I played every game, I scored, I felt in top form.

“When the next season started, unfortunately, our results didn’t measure up against the talent in our squad. The coach had to make difficult choices, so for a year, I played very few games. It was obvious to me I had to leave.

“I had many club proposals and I even had the opportunity to go to a large French club but Stoke City blocked me. Why? I do not know. I think that at that time, their financial interests took precedence. It was one of the most difficult moments of my career.

“After other low blows, without going into details, it was inconceivable to continue playing for them. I preferred to be loaned rather than staying at Stoke City.

“It was a relief to terminate my contract with Stoke City. After this difficult period, I went to FC Sochi because I needed to recharge my batteries, find pleasure and play time. The project is promising and life is good.”

Imbula is happy to have put his Stoke nightmare behind him and is now looking forward to starting afresh in Russia with FC Sochi.