Giannelli Imbula

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Video: Stoke’s Imbula scores stunner on loan at Toulouse

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Stoke City supporters know the name¬†Giannelli Imbula, and perhaps they’ll be clamoring for the Frenchman to return to the bet365 Stadium if he can score more goals like this.

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The holding midfielder is currently on loan with Ligue 1 outfit Toulouse, and for the first time this season, Imbula opened his goalscoring account in some fashion.

Right on half-hour mark, Imbula unleashed a left-footed strike from nearly 40 yards out to give Toulouse the lead over Montpellier (below).

Imbula joined Stoke during the 2015/16 PL season, and has made 26 appearances for the Potters in his time with the club, prior to his loan to France.

VIDEO: Martino, Earle praise Stoke City’s record-breaking buy Imbula

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Why did Stoke City break their transfer record for Porto midfielder Giannelli Imbula?

That’s the $26 million question, but the answer isn’t too tricky according to NBC Sports Soccer’s Robbie Earle and Kyle Martino.

[ MORE: Deadline Day Done Deals ]

The 23-year-old French midfielder is a box-to-box hustler with plenty of grit and creativity to him, a two-way player if you will.

Stoke’s 33 points have the club four points back of fifth place Manchester United and nine back of No. 4 Tottenham Hotspur.

Stoke City break club record, sign Imbula for $26 million

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Stoke City made a splash less than an hour before the January transfer window slammed shut.

Giannelli Imbula, 23, joined from FC Porto for $26 million, as the defensive midfielder is the most expensive signing in Stoke’s history.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ] 

Imbula had arrived in the Potteries earlier on Monday after Stoke and Porto made a breakthrough in negotiations, and with minutes left on the clock he sealed the move.

Mark Hughes was said to have been impressed after Imbula played well against Stoke in a preseason friendly for Porto and now he has ended up landing his man in a bumper last-minute deal.

Speaking to Sky Sports News minutes after smashing Stoke’s transfer record for the second time in as many transfer windows, Hughes was delighted Imbula is on board.

“We are delighted we’ve got a very, very good young player who has still got a lot of potential that we hope to realize, and he will add to the strong squad we already have,” Hughes said. “A lot of things have to fall in place before you can even get the player on a plane and traveling over. We just has to wait for a few things to fall into place but they did, thankfully, and once Giannelli was here you have to go through the processes you need to. We’ve been able to do it in the end, which is the important thing. We are absolutely delighted with the acquisition that we have.”

The French midfielder only arrived in Portugal from Marseille last July for $21.3 million but just over eight months later he has now made the switch to England and the Premier League.

A powerful defensive midfielder, his new teammate Charlie Adam described Imbula as a “Patrick Vieira type” as he can drive forward from midfielder and use the ball well, as well as breaking up plays.

With Stoke just four points off the top five, Hughes will be hoping his new holding midfielder can add the solidity which will allow the likes of Bojan, Xherdan Shaqiri, Marko Arnautovic and Ibrahim Affelay to flourish in attack.