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Glen Johnson lured to Stoke by new-found 'purists' taag

Image: Glen Johnson joined Stoke after his Liverpool contract expired

Glen Johnson has revealed he was lured to Stoke by the club's new-found reputation as "a real footballing team".

The England full-back signed a two-year deal at the Britannia earlier this month after his Liverpool contract expired at the end of last season.

Stoke's one-time tag as long-ball merchants - often disputed by then-manager Tony Pulis - has become a thing of the past since Mark Hughes took charge two summers ago.

And Johnson is confident he is joining a club on an upwards curve after successive ninth-placed Premier League finishes.

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"This is the right choice," said Johnson, speaking ahead of City's Asia Trophy campaign in Singapore. "I wanted to stay in the Premier League because it’s the best out there, to be closer to the family. 

"I met Mark Hughes just over a week ago now and I was obviously impressed with what he had to say. I think it’s a club moving in the right direction and I want to be a part of it. 

"Everyone knows Stoke used to have a reputation for long balls, long throw-ins but since Mark came in and even before they were evolving and becoming a real footballing team. Hopefully I can help that continue.

"People have seen me play for years, I don’t like to belt it forward. I like to play football and from what Mark said to me he wants to do the same. It should suit us both. It appears to be a perfect fit for each other.”

Peter Crouch celebrates scoring Stoke's sixth goal against Liverpool on the final day of last season
Image: Peter Crouch celebrates scoring Stoke's sixth goal against Liverpool on the final day of last season

Stoke beat Johnson's old club 6-1 on the final day of last season, and Liverpool are back at the Britannia in this season's first round of fixtures next month.

He told the club website: "It’s ironic, it seems to always work out that way. I owe Liverpool a lot. I had some very good times there and played a lot of games throughout the years. I’ve got a lot of friends there.

"Of course the club will always be close to my heart but hopefully we will get the three points on the day."

Watch Everton v Stoke in the Asia Trophy live on Sky Sports 1 from 10.45am on Wednesday. Stoke's Premier League opener against Liverpool is live on Sky Sports 1 at 3.30pm on August 9.

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