Welsh star pens long-term deal and set sights on top-flight return...
JOE ALLEN has today pledged his future to Stoke City by signing a long-term contract.
The 28-year-old Welsh international, who has established himself as a midfield linchpin in his first two seasons at the bet365 Stadium, has put pen to paper on a four-year contract with the Potters.
His decision to re-commit to the Club follows last week’s signings of Nigerian World Cup star Oghenekaro Etebo, who has joined from Portuguese side Feirense, and striker Benik Afobe, who has signed from Wolves.
Allen said: “I spoke to Tony Scholes once the season had ended and he made it very clear that the Club weren’t interested in selling me and that they wanted me to stay on.
“That stance from the Club, coupled with how settled I am here, how happy I am and how much I’ve enjoyed it, made it pretty straightforward for me.
“As players we have to shoulder responsibility for what happened last season. Sometimes in football when things go wrong players try to wash their hands of it but I’m hoping a few more of the lads will have the same target of trying to set the record straight and helping the Club bounce straight back.”
Manager Gary Rowett added: “Joe’s were the first comments that I read at the end of last season and it was clear from what he said that he wanted to atone for what had happened. That’s exactly what any Club, any set of fans and any manager want to hear – they want players to feel a sense of responsibility.
“For a player of that quality to want to stay, want to commit to the future tells you how good the Club is and that he can see potentially a better season ahead.
“I’m delighted. He’s exactly the type of player we need because he’s got Premier League quality and he’s also got the mentality to handle life in the Championship in my opinion.”
Chief Executive Tony Scholes commented: “Joe’s decision to sign a new contract could prove to be our most significant business of this transfer window.
“There is no doubting that he would have coveted a great deal of interest this summer such has been the form he has shown for us since he joined us from Liverpool.
“To Joe’s credit he has spoken at length to our owners and Gary Rowett and is fully committed to our aim of securing a return to the Premier League at the very earliest opportunity.”