Young Marco van Ginkel is a sympathetic figure, despite (or perhaps exactly because of) hardly featuring for Chelsea since singing two summers ago. A major knee surgery, several smaller injuries, and a semi-successful loan to AC Milan later, he looks to finally get back on track and resume his once highly promising career.
If his first involvement with his Stoke City teammates is any indication, he's wasting no time in getting down to business.
Granted, it was just Wrexham and the Potters put five more past the Conference Premier (i.e. 5th tier) side, but it's still a rather glorious run and finish from the halfway line.
"He's a very good player and we are very encouraged by what he's shown. He gives us a goal threat and has got good energy. He covered good ground and wants to get into the box and on the end of things, so we are really pleased with that aspect of his play."
-Mark Hughes, manager; source: Stoke Sentinel
Stoke lost a friendly to Brentford 2-0 earlier today. Van Ginkel again started, while ex-Chelsea man Glen Johnson made his preseason debut as well. They will now head out to Germany for a short training camp before opening their season against Liverpool in a fortnight.
"I've settled in really well. Nice guys and everybody is helping me. I'm new at the club, so I have to feel the other players, know them better, and its getting better and better with the training and the games."
"It's a good feeling at the moment and hopefully we can make it better."
"When I came to Stoke I said I think I can give something to this team and I showed that (against Wrexham), but I also want to show it in the Premier League, that's the first thing what I want to do."
-Marco van Ginkel; source: Stoke Sentinel
Go and get 'em, Marco!