Coming off the back of a ninth-place finish the year before, Mark Hughes was entrusted to once again have Stoke City punching above their weight in the Premier League.
Having secured another top-ten finish, the Potters were pushing on and were becoming a mainstay in the top-flight under the Welsh manager.
Stoke were flashing the cash during the summer ahead of the start of the 2015/16 campaign with signings like Xherdan Shaqiri and Gianelli Imbula for a combined total of around £30million as well as the free transfer of Ibrahim Afellay from Barcelona.
It was a good time to be a Stoke City supporter.
With all the attacking talent arriving, Hughes also added to his backline.
There were plenty of free agents roaming around that summer and Hughes moved fast to snap up a man who he thought would have a significant impact with the Potters.
Having played at the highest level for several years, on July 12, 2015, this man was signed up.
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) July 12, 2015
Glen Johnson agreed a two-year deal with the Potters having been released by Liverpool at the end of the previous season.
The then 30-year-old had a wealth of experience both domestically and internationally with England.
But that did not stop these Stoke supporters lamenting the decision to sign the defender.
@stokecity disappointed buying Liverpool players ain't the way to the next level !!
— Christopher Day (@Pottermus123) July 12, 2015
— Mark Pitfield (@pitters57) July 12, 2015
@stokecity poor signing
— Matthew Griffiths ???? (@MatthewGrif18) July 12, 2015
— Dan Smith (@dan_N_smith) July 12, 2015
Johnson was one of the less glamorous signings of the summer.
Ironically, he made his Stoke debut against the side that let him go two months prior, but it would be Liverpool who would start the season with a win at the Potters’ expense.
During his first year at the club, he made 29 appearances as Stoke once again finished ninth in the Premier League albeit with three fewer points than the previous campaign.
It was a solid return for a player who had been in and out of the team at Anfield, and he started to become a regular at the then Britannia Stadium.
But his season ended in February 2016 after suffering a knee injury in the win over Bournemouth with Hughes believing his absence was a great loss to the Potters.
He made his return to action the following September in the defeat to Crystal Palace and came back to play 25 times that season as Stoke finished 13th in the Premier League.
His form before and after the injury had improved and on April 18, 2017, he was offered a new one-year deal.
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) April 18, 2017
Despite his consistent run in the side before and after his knee injury, the fans’ reaction to his new one-year contract was some way from being positive.
Whyyyyyyy…we need new blood…
— Joe Ullah (@JuUllah) April 18, 2017
Seriously !!!! April fools day was a couple of weeks back now to resign Beardsley Adam Whelan Ireland Walters oh & offer Pieters a huge extn
— Phil Toft (@PhilToft) April 18, 2017
This isn't talking the club forward
— David Cartlidge (@scfcseniorgrump) April 18, 2017
— Mart Lear (@1martinlear) April 18, 2017
Having signed a new deal under Hughes, after a poor start to the season, he was sacked and replaced with Paul Lambert.
Johnson made just four appearances before Hughes left and a further six under Lambert having missed several matches due to do injury.
He struggled for game time and Stoke were relegated after ten years in the top flight.
Having been a regular member of the side for two-and-a-half years, his final season at the club, he saw game time limited as the then 33-year-old started to show his age.
Johnson was released having served the extra year he had signed as Stoke were relegated to the Championship.
It was an uninspiring signing that garnered the type of response it did from many of the Potters’ fans.
It was three years of a player who was just there and offered little in the way of effectiveness to the team, and the older he got the less convinced the Stoke fans were about his role in the side.
They were sceptical from the start after his lukewarm welcome, and that turned out to be how his Stoke career would go.
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