Stoke take Camara on loan
© AFP

Stoke City have signed forward Henri Camara on loan from Premier League rivals Wigan Athletic until the end of the season.

The Senegalese international had lately struggled to hold down a first-team place at the JJB Stadium, and not even the recent departure of Emile Heskey to Aston Villa bolstered his hopes, with Latics manager Steve Bruce signing Colombia's Hugo Rodallega.

I hope they (the fans) understand I need to play. I have spent most of this season on the bench.

Henri Camara on his decision to leave Wigan Athletic on loan.

Camara, 31, scored 20 goals in 46 league starts for Wigan. "I hope they (the fans) understand I need to play," said Camara. "I had a wasted year at West Ham - and I have spent most of this season on the bench," he said.

"I understand and respect Steve Bruce totally. But when I was given this chance, I felt I had to take it for the sake of my career.

"I want to say a really big thank-you to the Wigan fans, who have been magnificent to me. I will never forget that, and the club will always stay in my heart."

Bruce said: "I like Henri as a player. He's looked great whenever he has played this season, getting a couple of really crucial goals for us.

"However, I can understand that he wants to put himself in the shop window and play and I could not give him that promise here. Out of respect to him and to what he has done for the club in the past, I have not stood in his way now."