There were some high points and he rarely failed to put a shift in but Stoke City fans will likely feel that Mame Biram Diouf’s time in the Potteries had the potential to become so much more.
Having joined on a free transfer from Hannover 96, the former Manchester United player made 157 appearances for Stoke in total – scoring 25 times and providing 10 assists.
Diouf made an impressive start to his Potters career, bagging 11 Premier League goals in his debut season, but never quite managed to reach those heights again and had become a wage bill issue by the time he left the club in the summer of 2020.
A fresh start away from Stoke has proven to be just what the Senegal international needed and his move to Turkish Super Lig outfit Hatayspor has been fruitful for both the player and his new club.
Despite being in his 30s now, Diouf had the most productive season of his career in 2020/21 as he helped newly-promoted Hatayspor to a sixth-place finish in the league.
Trusted with being the club’s starting centre-forward week in, week out, he scored 19 goals and added five assists in 38 appearances as he proved himself a prolific and consistent goalscorer – something he was never able to do while at Stoke.
Such were the quality of his performances that Super Lig champions Besiktas tried to pinch him in the summer but Hatayspor rejected their advances.
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The Senegal striker was made captain ahead of the current season and has led from the front by scoring five times in 11 games as his side have once again defied the odds to climb to second in the Super Lig table.
Diouf has had something of a renaissance since his Stoke departure while under Michael O’Neill his former club have enjoyed an upturn in fortunes as well, so you feel Potters fans will be pleased to see him thriving.