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Premier League star Stoke City tests at Championship rival

Premier League star Stoke City tests at Championship rival

Erik Pieters was a surprise name on Luton Town’s teamsheet for a closed-door pre-season friendly against Stevenage.

The former Stoke City defender, now 35, is a free agent after being released by West Bromwich Albion after two seasons at the Hawthorns. He played fairly regularly as Albion finished ninth and then fifth in the Championship, losing to Southampton in the play-off semi-finals in May.




He has converted from left-back to centre-back since leaving Stoke and Luton manager Rob Edwards has given him a chance to play this summer as he prepares his side following relegation from the Premier League. He played 45 minutes in the 3-0 win over Stevenage on Monday afternoon. Edwards also fielded former Shrewsbury Town youth centre-back Vladimir Paternoster.

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Pieters joined Stoke from PSV Eindhoven the same summer that Mark Hughes was appointed manager in 2013. He was set to sign in the January transfer window but was delayed due to injury. He was a key part of the team at left-back under Hughes as Stoke finished in the top half for three consecutive years, and he made 18 appearances for the Netherlands.

It was a surprise when he was replaced by Nathan Jones in 2019, initially on loan to Amiens before moving to Burnley permanently. He moved to West Brom in 2022 and has made it his mission to applaud Stoke fans in every stand when he returns to the bet365 Stadium as an opponent.

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