Meant to be heading to France to get his career back on track, Stoke’s Giannelli Imbula is having a hard time impressing over in Toulouse.

Yet to have the impact many expected him to at the Ligue 1 club, the 25-year-old has even managed to draw heavy criticism from the side’s fans after his rather disappointing performance against Metz at the weekend.

Substituted in the 63rd minute for striker Ola Toivonen, the Stoke loanee, instead of sitting down on the bench like he was meant to, decided to walk straight back to the dressing room.

Some thought this might have been due to an injury, but his manager, Pascal Dupraz, told La Dépêche the player hadn’t picked up anything during the game.

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He said: “I saw what he did. He wasn’t happy about being substituted. I took him off because I wanted us to play faster, in the midfield and up front when I thought he was slowing things down for us. Also, Ola (Toivonen) is an additional offensive solution”.

Drawing 0-0 against bottom of the table Metz, with the Stoke midfielder’s side playing with 11 men against 10 for most of the game, Imbula’s disappointment was probably well founded, and he knows he shouldn’t have done what he did.

Clarifying on Instagram he intended no disrespect towards the club’s fans, the former Porto man could find himself in another tough situation if he isn’t careful.

With no future at bet365 Stadium on the horizon for the Potters’ loanee, a need to impress to get a move away from Stoke next summer is crucial for his career, and he currently isn’t doing that.