Signed: August 2007
Games this season: 24
Goals this season : 1
Total club games: 172/4
Total club goals: 17
Tall, commanding centre back signed from Manchester United.
Came with a massive, if unproven, reputation after an impressing six months on loan at United's feeder club Royal Antwerp in Belguim where he helped them to fourth in the league and the best defence in the league.
Got good feet and is dangerous in the opposing penalty area with either feet or head.
Scored the only goal on his debut away at Cardiff and then scored the first goal in the Carling Cup tie at Rochdale three days later and went on to net a further 6 in his debut season.
Signed a long term deal in January 2008, for an initial £1m fee rising to £2m with add ons. Was called up to the England U21's in 2008 to become the first Stoke player in nearly 20 years to represent England at that level.
Started the season with a poor performance against Bolton and was dropped for a few weeks but played well in the Carling Cup and earnt his right to come back into the side where he looked a lot more relaxed and confident.
Blossommed into a quality top flight defender alongside Abdoulaye Faye and late winner against Middlesbrough was one of the crucial moments of the first Premier League season.
Kept up his improvement during 2009/10 and despite getting sent off against Arsenal, for a tackle, not a foul, that broke Aaron Ramsey's leg, he received a call up to the England squad later that day.
Made club captain, at the age of 22, he formed a formidable partnership with Robert Huth to keep the Potters in the top flight for a fourth season in a row and also reach the clubs first ever FA cup final. Retained the captaincy for the 2011/12 season, which begun with him leading the Potters out in European action for the first time in 37 years.
If his form contiinues then Stoke are going to have some seriously big bids coming their way with Liverpool and Manchester United already being heavily linked.