Stoke flop, now aged 33, lands himself Real Madrid transfer and wins UEFA Nations League final on the SAME day

Premier League flop Joselu, who played for Stoke and Newcastle has landed a transfer to Real Madrid after making his long-awaited debut for Spain
Stoke flop, now aged 33, lands himself Real Madrid transfer and wins UEFA Nations League final on the SAME day

A player who flopped at Stoke City has enjoyed a day to remember – by securing a move to Real Madrid and then appearing in the Nations League final.

Spain striker Joselu, now 33, has enjoyed a nomadic career with spells in England, Germany and his homeland. In 2015, he signed for Stoke, then of the Premier League, for almost £6m. But his time in the Potteries under then-manager Mark Hughes was underwhelming, to say the least.

He managed just 22 appearances with 12 coming off the bench, before joining Deportivo on loan. A permanent move to Newcastle United followed, with Stoke recouping most of the transfer fee they paid Hanover.

However, again, Joselu struggled to make an impact, dropping down the pecking order and even out of the Magpies’ squad altogether at one stage. A move back to Spain with Alaves followed, and the home comforts seemed to suit him as he enjoyed an impressive three-year spell.

Espanyol came calling last summer and he scored 16 goals in the season just completed. Despite those goals, the Barcelona-based club were relegated from La Liga, prompting Real Madrid, where he spent time at the start of his career, to come calling for the journeyman. He is set to join on a season-long loan with an option to buy for £1.5m.

Real president Florentino Perez confirmed on Sunday that the signing would be completed shortly. He added that Joselu would be the last incoming of the summer at the Bernabeu, appearing to rule out moves for Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe or Tottenham’s Harry Kane in the short term.

Joselu’s form has also seen him finally secure a call-up to the Spain squad and he was among the scorers as they defeated Italy 2-1 in the Nations League semi-final on Thursday. He then came off the bench in the final against Croatia, with Spain winning on penalties after a goalless in Rotterdam.

It completes a remarkable journey for the Spaniard, with one fan tweeting: "Hanover sold Joselu to Stoke City for 8 million euros in 2015. The then-Stoke manager helped him to break through. Now he lands at the famous white ballet, what a story."

Another said: "Joselu to Madrid, I was expecting it to be a wonder kid. Turns out it was the bloke at Stoke City."

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