Opinion: Stoke City would be wise to offer reduced terms to senior player as contract expiry date looms

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Stoke City could be set for a bit of a rebuild this summer, with a whole host of players either out of contract or having loan deals that are set to end at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.

By the time the campaign has ended, it will have most likely been another disappointing season for the Potters, who have failed to progress despite showing positive signs earlier in the season.

No wins in eight matches before their victory over Millwall prior to the international break consigned Michael O’Neill’s side to what will end up being a mid-table finish most likely, depending on what happens between now and May 7.

The likes of Nick Powell, Mario Vrancic, Jordan Thompson and Steven Fletcher all have contracts that will be coming to their end at the end of June, and that’s also the case for the last man standing out of Stoke’s big-money Premier League signings in Joe Allen.

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The Wales international arrived at the bet365 Stadium in 2016 from Liverpool for a reported £13 million, penning a five-year deal but that was extended in 2018 until the summer of 2022.

Allen was a regular in Stoke’s starting 11 all the way up until an achilles rupture at the back end of the 2019-20 campaign, which he took around nine months to recover from.

After getting back to fitness last season, Allen as Stoke’s club captain has played regularly this season but he will likely be earning a lot more than anyone at the Potters, with SalarySport having his weekly wage down at £50,000.

His performances have obviously not been worthy of an incoming that big, but Stoke knew what they were getting themselves into when they extended his contract following their relegation in 2018 from the Premier League.

Even though the owners of Stoke have restructured £160 million worth of debt last week, putting them on a sound financial footing, they still cannot afford to carry a weekly wage of Allen’s current one nowadays – but there could be a way to keep him.

Allen will know for sure that he won’t get that big a contract anywhere else ever again, and is there is a willingness from his end to stick around then a sensible renegotiation of a salary far less than what he’s on now could work.

He will be keen to be at a club where he’s a focal point and playing games, especially if Wales qualify for the FIFA World Cup later in the year, and there’s still seemingly a place for him in that Stoke squad.

A rebuild may be in order but you need experience as well as young, hungry players and Stoke should make every effort to keep Allen around for at least next season.



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