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Lynden Gooch has delivered his verdict on Stoke City’s new arrivals – and explained why they should have an easier time settling in than he did 12 months ago.

The versatile 28-year-old arrived at the bet365 Stadium from Sunderland as the 19th recruit of a huge turnover of personnel under then boss Alex Neil, and while Stoke have done business this summer too, it will be nothing like the upheaval Gooch walked in on.

He explained: “Last year was always going to be really difficult. I think when I signed on deadline day, I was like the 19th new arrival of the summer – and then there were two or three after me that day.

“It was always going to be difficult to try to gel that many new people together, whereas now we’ve got a big core that worked together all last year and finished the season strongly. So to get those three lads in early and get them integrated into the squad is brilliant.”

“Those three lads” are left-back Eric Bocat, centre-half Ben Gibson and goalkeeper Viktor Johansson , all recruited as the new Stoke hierarchy address some of the limitations of last season’s squad.

Such were Stoke’s struggles last term that Neil was eventually sacked as relegation seemed a realistic prospect. But in came Steven Schumacher as head coach, supported by new director of football Jon Walters and transfer chief Lee Darnbrough – and with them a feeling of optimism for the forthcoming campaign.

Asked for an assessment of his new team-mates, Gooch told BBC Radio Stoke: “I think everyone who has played in this division knows Victor is a top, top goalkeeper. I know the lads at Rotherham (Johansson’s former club) speak incredibly highly of him as well, so it was huge to get that done early.Sources: Swansea City launch bid to sign Stoke star Josh Tymon before  transfer deadline

“Ben and I have come across each other quite a lot through the years, and he’s another top player. And obviously to have a left footer on that side will help massively with the way we want to play. He’s also got bags of experience in the division – two promotions – and played in the Premier League as well.

“Then with Eric we’ve got another left back who has come in to, so yes I think it has been good business so far.”

The Stoke players are currently in their first week of pre-season training as they prepare for time away in Dublin and a series of warm-up matches before the season starts with a lunchtime kick-off at the bet365 Stadium on August 10 (12.30pm) against Coventry City.

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