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Stoke complete signing of West Ham's Etherington

Stoke have completed the signing of Matthew Etherington from West Ham for a reported £3million. Boss Tony Pulis believes the 27 year old's experience in the top flight will be crucial in their fight to avoid relegation.

"I think Matthew feels it is right to get out of London and start again," Pulis said.

"Perhaps we can give him the love and care he has not had for a while."

Etherington is keen to make a fresh start after being troubled by gambling problems.

"No disrespect but we are at a club where we can't deal in the top bracket of players we would like to bring here," said the Stoke boss.

"You are always working below that. We are not at Crufts, we are at Battersea Dogs Home. We are looking for strays. We are looking for people who have gone astray with the aim of bringing them back.

"You look for players who have gone off the rails and for whatever reason have not fulfilled their potential."

Pulis added: "I have really got a feeling from him. If we can get him back to his best, he will be a really exciting player for our supporters.

"We have been looking for a wide player with pace. Matthew has the ability to beat a player and run the ball from one end of the pitch to another.

"He scores goals and his set-pieces are good as well. If we can seal the deal we will be very pleased."

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