Stoke City have signed Manchester City striker John Guidetti on loan and brought in Stephen Ireland on a permanent deal.
Stoke have been looking to improve their attacking options for some time, and City confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Sweden international Guidetti, 21, has completed a move to the Britannia Stadium until the end of the season.
Injury problems have hindered Guidetti’s progress since he scored 20 goals in 23 games on loan at Feyenoord during the 2011-12 season, but Potters boss Hughes -- who worked with the player during his time at the Etihad Stadium -- believes he will be a big asset.
Speaking before the deal was completed, the Stoke manager said: “He's a player that can add to what we have got and we are trying to add different options to our attack.
“He's a natural goalscorer, and if we can get him into the right areas he will take chances. He was there as a young player when I was at City and he worked with our under-21 coach Glynn Hodges when he was also there, so we know him.”
Stoke were able to complete the loan deal after tying up the permanent signing of Ireland from Aston Villa, as Premier League clubs are only allowed to borrow two players from elsewhere in the division at any one time.
Ireland spent the first half of the season on loan at the Britannia, and with Liverpool winger Oussama Assaidi also at the club, Guidetti’s loan could only be completed after the Republic of Ireland international’s switch was complete, as chief executive Tony Scholes explained.
Scholes told the club's official website: “We’ve had the deal to bring John in on loan on the stocks for a few days now but had to convert Stephen Ireland’s loan deal into a permanent deal to free up another loan. We’re delighted to have brought John to the club and are grateful to Stephen and Villa for their co-operation.”
The Ireland deal was announced earlier on Tuesday, and Hughes -- who also managed the midfielder at City -- told the Stoke website: “Stephen is a talented footballer and has shown what he’s capable of since he joined us.”
Guidetti has been restricted to just one League Cup appearance for City but made a huge impact while on loan in the Dutch Eredivisie with Feyenoord, scoring 20 goals in 23 appearances.
The 21 year old returned to action earlier this season after a lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury and is understandably keen to make up for lost time in his spell with the Potters.
Hughes told the club's official website: “We wanted to try and add different options to our attacking threat and John will certainly do that. He’s someone who if you get him in the right areas will make the most of opportunities that come his way because he’s a natural goal-scorer.
“There were several clubs who were interested in taking him on loan and we’re delighted that he has chosen to join us.”
Chief Executive Tony Scholes added: “We’ve had the deal to bring John in on loan on the stocks for a few days now but had to convert Stephen Ireland’s loan deal into a permanent deal to free-up another loan. We’re delighted to have brought John to the Club and are grateful to Stephen and Villa for their co-operation.”