Joined: 11th June 2014
Total Appearances: 38 [as at 08/08/15]
Goals: 12 [as at 08/08/15]
Career Path: Diaraf, Molde, Manchester United, Molde (loan), Blackburn Rovers (loan), Hannover 96, Stoke City.
The 26-year-old Senegalese striker joined the Potters in the summer of 2014 from German club Hanover on a free transfer.
There had been speculation growing about the former Manchester United striker in previous transfer windows, so it was no surprise that Mark Hughes got his man.
Hughes even admitted to the Sentinel it was close to not happening: “Yes, we’re really pleased that we’ve finally got him. It’s been a process that’s dragged on at times. On occasions we have been close, then on others it’s been drifting away.”
He made his debut on the opening day of the 2014-15 season, a defeat at the Britannia to Midlands rivals Aston Villa.
Diouf failed to impress in his three years at Manchester United and only made five appearances scoring three goals.
His loan spells to Molde and Blackburn saw him make a combined total of 38 appearances with only 7 goals. His record improved in the Bundesliga where he scored 26 times in 57 games, a good benchmark for the Premier League. Some Stoke fans were not totally impressed by his arrival.
Until one day in late September. Then that all changed. The Potters travelled to the champions Manchester City. The score 0-0 in the 56th with a Man City corner. A cross headed clear by Erik Pieters found Diouf 70 yards from goal. Striding away, he shrugged off Kolorov and nutmegged Fernandinho before continuing into the Champions area. His shot somehow found it’s way into the goal through a desperate Joe Hart. 1-0 STOKE!
Since then he has gone onto add to his goal tally thanks to a double against West Brom. He was absent following the New Year’s Day game against Manchester United as he was on international duty with Senegal at the African Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.
Diouf ended his first season at Stoke with 11 league goals, the most of any one player in a Premier League campaign since Ricardo Fuller in 2008/09.