Bojan Krkic says the Champions League is the target for Stoke and says five years ago the club “could never imagine they would play football”.
The former Barcelona forward arrived at the Britannia Stadium in the summer of 2014 and after a season of finding his feet in the Premier League, the 25-year-old has been one of the club’s best performers having already matched last season’s tally of five goals.
Mark Hughes’ Potters sit in seventh spot and are six points behind Tottenham, who currently occupy fourth place and the final Champions League spot, but it’s their style of football which has seen the biggest change having employed a direct style, relying on set-plays under former boss Tony Pulis.
Hughes though has brought in more ball players to the club with Marko Arnautovic, Xherdan Shaqiri and Ibrahim Afellay all arriving in the last three seasons and the club’s style has changed noticeably to a short-passing game.
Bojan has been impressed with the transformation and thinks the club should set themselves the target of European football within three years.
“We have to be honest. The Champions League has to be a target. You have to be ambitious,” Bojan told Sky Sports.
“Five years ago they could never imagine at the Britannia Stadium they’d play football, why in three years we can’t be in the Champions League?
“Look at Leicester, they have a chance to win the Premier League. You have to be ambitious.”
Bojan also praised the level of football in the Premier League.
“Here 90 minutes one game is 100% intensity, in Spain no. In Spain you have maybe 60 minutes of high intensity,” he added.
“It’s a different philosophy with the fans and the journalists. There’s more respect for the players.
“The players enjoy it more because every stadium is full. If you win the people are happy, if you lose the players don’t wait outside the dressing room to say something to you.”
Bojan, who made over 150 appearances for Barcelona, also claimed it was always his aim to play in England.
“I was in Italy for two years and one year in Holland. I said to my family I want to come back to Spain, it doesn’t matter where,” he revealed.
“But it was a long summer [in 2014], and Stoke City start to call me and show interest. The Premier League is the best league in the world and I always wanted to play here.
“I spoke to [Stoke manager] Mark Hughes and he told me about the mentality at Stoke City.
“When I was young I said I wanted to play in the Premier League. Now I am here and I want to enjoy the football here.”