Writer: Ryan Kalisz
Date:Sunday January 23 2011
All the hype recently has been about Sunderland boss Steve Bruce looking towards Stoke City striker Ricardo Fuller to replace the massive cash-in of Darren Bent.
One minute it`s going ahead, and the next he`s staying, then Stoke deny any approach, and so on. But it seems now that Fuller is finally set to seal a move to Premier League rivals Sunderland early next week.
The 31-year-old Jamaican joined the Potters from Southampton in the summer of 2006 for £500,000. Ricardo Fuller went on to be an inspiration for Stoke as he helped them into the top flight of English football, making a name for himself with supporters along the way.
Fan favorite Fuller however, has recently slipped down the pecking order at the Britannia Stadium and has started just one league game since early December. His recurring dislocated shoulder has been one of the factors that have caused concerns for Tony Pulis, but Fuller has always had an impact in the team.
He has often been used as a 'super-sub`, coming on and turning games on their heads with quick passing and pace and creativity. An on-form Fuller can produce some quality football to score a handful of goals.
City boss Tony Pulis told BBC Radio Stoke: 'You hope you don't lose players like that, but if it happens we have to move on. Ric's been a great player for this football club. He has been one of my favourites here and I'm sure he is to most of the supporters.'
The Jamaica international has scored 48 goals in 177 games during his stint at Stoke, and will be sadly missed by everyone at the club. The Potters do have cover for Fuller in the likes of John Carew who has just joined on loan from Aston Villa with a view to a permanent move when his contract expires.
The question is, will Carew have the same impact as what Ricardo Fuller did on the fans that fill The Britannia Stadium? Only time will tell. But in the meantime, he hasn`t quite gone yet so I reserve my official farewell until then.
Date:Sunday January 23 2011
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