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Stoke's Andy Wilkinson hails signing of John Carew

Stoke City striker John Carew
Striker John Carew has scored 23 goals in 86 caps for Norway

Stoke City defender Andy Wilkinson is confident that striker John Carew will prove to be an excellent signing.

The 31-year-old joined the Potters on loan from Aston Villa on Friday and played the final 32 minutes of the 2-0 defeat at Fulham 24 hours later.

"He's a class player and one of the strongest that I've played against," Wilkinson told BBC Radio Stoke.

"He showed that with his first touch. He held about three of them off and could have maybe scored."

Carew, who has yet to score in the Premier League this season, could not inspire his new club to victory on his debut.

Clint Dempsey scored either side of the interval at Craven Cottage, while Stoke had captain Ryan Shawcross sent off early in the second half.

Ricardo Fuller was an unused substitute for the Potters amid interest from Sunderland for the Jamaica international.

BBC Radio Stoke understands the two clubs have agreed a fee in the region of £3m for the striker.

Manager Tony Pulis admitted after the game on Saturday that he would be sad to see Fuller leave the Britannia Stadium, a view echoed by his team-mate Wilkinson.

"Me personally, I'll be gutted if he goes," said the full-back. "He's a top lad.

"I've known him for six or seven years now, he's a good friend and a class player.

"He can bring a different dimension to our game and when he's on his day he's unplayable.

"I hope he stays but I don't know what's happening there."

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