Posted on July 22, 2014
Stoke City boss Mark Hughes has revealed that he does not want to sell Peter Crouch despite having brought in Mame Biram Diouf as one of the main strikers. Diouf has joined the club on a free transfer after leaving German club Hannover. He signed a four-year contract. Scoring goals was a major problem for Stoke last season. Figures have been pointed towards former Liverpool and Tottenham striker Crouch, who appears to have lost his scoring touch in recent years. After managing 38 appearances last season, Crouch got only 10 goals.
In the previous season, he had scored just eight. Such low scoring figures have put his place in jeopardy, but Hughes has confirmed that Crouch remains an integral part of the team. Stoke went through a transitional season after bringing in Mark Hughes in order to change the style of play. It was achieved to some extent, but this campaign could be the one where Hughes puts his own stamp on the team. The former Manchester City and Blackburn manager has already brought in several new signings like Steve Sidwell and Phil Bardsley.
This represents a significant shift in philosophy, but Crouch is set to be retained. Stoke could consider selling the 33-year-old given that he is out of contract next summer. “Peter did very well last year. Obviously people picked up on something I said a couple of weeks back about some players arriving so some players will feel that they have to leave. Peter isn’t one of those I hope because he was exceptional last season, did really well for me. He’s a great asset on and off the field so we don’t want Peter to leave. He’s got a big part to play,” said Hughes.
Stoke start the new Premier League campaign with a home match against Aston Villa.