Hughes lauds 'elite' Jese after Stoke's gritty Arsenal upset

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The former Real Madrid and PSG forward was back to his best in a memorable victory, and earned the praise of his manager

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes described goal-scoring debutant Jese Rodriguez as an "elite" player and "game-changer", who will only get better as he adapts to the Premier League.

The former Real Madrid forward scored the only goal in Stoke's shock 1-0 win over Arsenal, exchanging passes with Saido Berahino and firing past Petr Cech just after half-time.

Huddersfield 6/1 to beat Newcastle 1-0

Jese only arrived on loan from Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, but completed 70 minutes as Stoke held on for their first win of the season.

And Hughes hailed the 24-year-old's immediate impact.

"Everyone knew what an acquisition Jese is. He's a game-changer," Hughes told BBC Sport.

"You have to say he put a shift in too. When you think about it, he only had two or three training sessions.

"If that's what's to come then we'll be delighted. He's an elite player and can carry the fight for you.

Aaron Ramsey Jese Rodriguez Stoke Arsenal Premier League

"The lads around him helped him through it. It's a great learning curve for him."

Stoke were restricted to just 22.7 per cent of possession but that did not bother Hughes, who revealed the Potters were intent on making a statement against a potential title contender.

"A huge amount of work was put in by the guys and you have to do that against a quality side like Arsenal," he said.

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"They're intelligent, quick, strong. You have to dig in at times and that's what we did.

"We've been criticised a bit, some of it unfair. We'll take valid criticism but when we get things going and do things correctly then we'll always be a feature in this league.

"The crowd wanted to make a statement along with the team. They were fed up of criticism and they wanted it."

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