01/09/2010 : Where Are They Now? : Wilson Heads For Potteries In 4.5 Million Deal
1 September 2010 : Wilson Heads For Potteries In 4.5 Million Deal
Former Yeovil Town loan midfielder Marc Wilson has moved back into the Premier League again after leaving relegated Portsmouth yesterday on the final day of the summer transfer window. The 23 year old Irishman has joined Stoke City in a deal worth 4.5 million - the biggest sum of money we can recall a former Glover changing hands for.

Stoke have given Portsmouth Liam Lawrence and Dave Kitson to Pompey and will also pay them 1 million, with the two players being valued in the deal at 3.5 million. In return they get Wilson, a player brought to Huish Park by Steve Thompson during the 2005-06 season for a short one month loan spell, shortly after the club had lost Darren Way and Lee Johnson.

At the time, Wilson was an inexperienced 18 year old, who had earlier that season played against Stuart Housley's youth team for Portsmouth. Now he is five years older and had been Portsmouth's club captain, as well as being tipped to play for the Republic of Ireland senior side. Stoke manager Tony Pulis believes he's done a great bit of business:

"He's a young age and comes with great flexibility, because he can play full-back, centre-half or midfield. He's a good passer, a very elegant player and we're hoping his best years are ahead of him. It's important to bring in good, young professionals and when you look at the spine of our team, you see players like Marc, Asmir Begovic and Ryan Shawcross."

Talking of Begovic, he's still with Stoke, although whether he stays there is another matter. He was back on the bench for Stoke in their weekend match against Chelsea, after claims that he went "on strike" for Stoke's Carling Cup match last week. In an interview with the BBC, Begovic denies this was the case:

"I never refused to play and I would never do that. I didn't go on strike. That's an absolutely disgraceful accusation by people. I tried to see him (Pulis) before the team meeting. He refused to see me and then he named the team. Then we spoke about the situation. As far as I was concerned, he understood the position I was in and he didn't have any problems with me not playing at the time. I thought that was the end of the story. We spoke about it, it was a private conversation and for it to get out publicly was a little bit disappointing."

Quite what Mr Pulis will make of that is another matter. Begovic was another high value transfer from Portsmouth back in January 2010, having joined for 3.25 million in January. Chelsea were the club believed to be after him, with a 4.5 million transfer bid being turned down by Stoke - the event that is alleged to have kicked off the heated debate between Begovic and Pulis. With the transfer window now shut, it would appear the two are going to have to kiss and make up until January at least.


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