Sevilla continue superb summer with swoop for Stoke’s Steven N’Zonzi
Spanish giants Sevilla (66/1 outsiders with Coral to lift La Liga) have signed midfielder Steven N’Zonzi from Stoke City for a fee believed to be around £7m on a four-year contract.
Superb defensive shield N’Zonzi was voted the Potters’ Player of the Year for the last campaign, in which he made 38 Premier League appearances and contributed three goals, but the Bathtubs have been able to land themselves a bargain due to the midfield powerhouse’s contract having less than 12 months to run.
— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) July 9, 2015
Yet to be capped by Les Bleus at senior level, N’Zonzi now has the chance the compete for a squad place should he impress in Sevilla on the Champions League stage, though the 26-year-old still has a wealth of talent ahead of him at international level.
Sevilla president Joel Castro spoke of his admiration for the French anchorman before the capture. “N’Zonzi is an interesting player,” he said. “We consider him very favourably.”
The Andalusian outfit have gone to great lengths to strengthen their squad, after winning a second-successive Europa League trophy allowed them a route into Europe’s elite club competition.
Continental ambition, partially funded by the sales of Carlos Bacca and Aleix Vidal to AC Milan and Barcelona respectively, has also seen the Bathtubs bring in N’Zonzi compatriots Gael Kakuta to replace Gerard Deulofeu on the flanks and strong centre back Adil Rami.
Sevilla have also made Bosman signings Yevhen Konoplyanka in attack and Michael Krohn-Dehli who has La Liga experience, on the wing. More arrivals are also expected, as the busy Bathtubs set about showing they mean business.
Stoke’s Premier League rivals Leicester City were also believed to be interested in dynamic N’Zonzi, yet free agent and former Foxes cult hero Esteban Cambiasso is now rumoured to be on his way to the Potters instead to replace his peer, despite the King Power Stadium side’s wish to retain the Argentine.
However, the task to fill N’Zonzi’s shoes will be a tough one, as the midfielder arrived at the Britannia Stadium from Blackburn Rovers in 2012, going on to make over 120 appearances for the Midlands men (11/1 for a top six finish) across all competitions.