By Joe Brewin
Arsène Wenger believes Stoke have now broken through to a new level in the Premier League.
The Potters have only been in the division since the 2008/09 season but have quickly made waves to establish themselves as a Premier League force.
The summer months were busy for manager Tony Pulis who recruited the likes of Cameron Jerome, Peter Crouch, Jonathan Woodgate and Matthew Upson to bolster his squad.
Wenger says Stoke’s intentions have been made loud and clear.
“Financially it means they have moved up,” said the Arsenal manager. “When you buy Crouch that means financially they have made a big effort. That means now they are in a different category of clubs, yes of course.
“They are a good team, especially offensively. Pennant, Etherington, Walters, Crouch, Jerome - offensively they have huge potential.
“They are always difficult at the back to beat because the back four is stable and doesn't push forward too much. They go for a more direct game, that's why it is difficult to get them out of position.
“But at home we have always done well against them and that is what we want to continue to do.”
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