|Full name||Gilbert Imbula Wanga|
|Date of birth||(1992-09-12) 12 September 1992 (age 28)|
|Place of birth||Vilvoorde, Belgium|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Defensive midfielder|
|2017–2018||→ Toulouse (loan)||28||(1)|
|2018–2019||→ Rayo Vallecano (loan)||22||(1)|
|2019–2020||→ Lecce (loan)||3||(0)|
Born in Belgium, Imbula played youth football for France, before changing international allegiance to the DR Congo national football team.
Imbula began his career with French club Guingamp, where he progressed from the youth teams to make his professional debut in October 2009.
After seven months at Porto, Imbula joined English club Stoke City for a club record £18.3 million.
Despite making a promising start at Stoke, he had a poor 2016–17 season and was sent on loan to Ligue 1 side Toulouse in 2017–18, La Liga side Rayo Vallecano in 2018–19 and Serie A side Lecce in 2019–20.
Imbula progressed through the youth team at the Stade de Roudourou and made his professional debut in Ligue 2 on 16 October 2009 in a game against Dijon, becoming the youngest player in Ligue 2 history at 17 years, 1 month and 4 days of age.
He played 33 times in 2010–11, scoring twice and helping Guingamp gain an instant promotion back to Ligue 2.
He made 30 appearances in 2011–12 as the side finished seventh which was followed by promotion to Ligue 1 in 2012–13, with Imbula making 36 appearances, scoring two goals and he was named Ligue 2 Player of the Year.
In July 2013, Imbula joined Marseille for a fee of €7 million, including bonuses.
He played 37 times for Marseille in 2013–14 as the team and Imbula failed to make a significant impact, finishing outside of the European places in sixth spot.
However, under the management of Marcelo Bielsa in 2014–15, Imbula formed an effective understanding with André Ayew, André-Pierre Gignac and Dimitri Payet where they finished in fourth place in the league table and were the second highest goalscorers with 76 goals.
On 1 July 2015, Imbula signed a five-year contract with Portuguese side Porto for a club record fee of €20 million.
He struggled, however, to settle in Portugal and reports emerged that Porto would be willing to let him leave in the 2016 January transfer window.
He made his Stoke debut on 6 February 2016 in a 3–0 defeat against Everton.
Imbula scored his first goal for Stoke on 13 February in a 3–1 win over Bournemouth.
He made a good start to his Stoke career and earned the praise of teammate Geoff Cameron.
He returned to the side in December and January before again being left out of the squad by Hughes.
Imbula made 14 appearances for Stoke in 2016–17 and it was reported that the club would be willing to cut their losses on Imbula in the summer transfer window.
Whilst at Stoke, Imbula's attitude prompted some heavy criticism from some of his club teammates.
Glen Johnson spoke on BBC Radio 5 Live in March 2019 about an occasion where Imbula subbed himself in a pre-season game after someone did not pass him the ball, only to sub himself back on again ten minutes later.
Imbula's contract with Stoke was terminated on 22 February 2020.
Loan to Toulouse
Imbula played 34 times for Toulouse, helping them remain in Ligue 1 after they defeated Ajaccio in a relegation play-off.
Loan to Rayo Vallecano
Loan to Lecce
On 21 February 2020 he received the consensual termination of the contract with the Italian club.
He left Sochi in late July 2020.
Return to Guingamp
Imbula returned to Guingamp on 7 October 2020.
Born to Congolese parents, Imbula was born in Belgium but raised in France, making him eligible for any of these three countries.
Imbula was called up to the DR Congo national team squad to face Tanzania on 14 March 2018, but rejected the call-up.
One year later, Imbula was named in the provisional DR Congo squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
However, he was not included in the final 23-man squad after his international clearance was not processed in time.
He received international clearance in October 2019.
Style of play
Imbula plays as a defensive midfielder and has been described by Mark Hughes as being able to play in centre midfield: "He's a defensive midfielder and he's got a lot of attributes in terms of understanding that role, but he can play in a three as well.
I like that flexibility in players because it gives me more options.
He's a good young player with good power, good ability on the ball, and a good range of passing."
Imbula married his fiancée, Linda, in the summer of 2016.
Imbula was caught speeding in Stockport in March 2016.
- As of match played 19 June 2020
|Marseille B||2013–14||CFA 2||2||0||—||—||—||2||0|
|Stoke City||2015–16||Premier League||14||2||0||0||0||0||—||14||2|
|Stoke City U23||2016–17||—||—||—||—||1||0||1||0|
|Toulouse (loan)||2017–18||Ligue 1||28||1||0||0||2||0||2||0||34||1|
|Rayo Vallecano (loan)||2018–19||La Liga||22||1||2||0||—||—||24||1|
|Lecce (loan)||2019–20||Serie A||3||0||1||1||—||—||4||1|
|Sochi||2019–20||Russian Premier League||1||0||0||0||—||—||1||0|
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giannelli Imbula.