Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen has hailed the impact of on-loan Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma.

The 22 year-old Frenchman appears to be running neck-and-neck with Fletcher for Allen’s vote for best new signing, so far.

“He’s settled straight in and instantly become a very important player,” said Allen.

“It was unfortunate him not playing against Chelsea last week, but he will come back in and be a big boost for us.

“I’m sure already that he’s going to be one of the players of the season for Stoke.”