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Stoke City should be keen to extend Ryan Shawcross' contract

Wednesday 21st June 2017
It's very rare to see loyal players these days. With big money involved, players can transfer to another club even if they are already on a contract. Still a rare few players decide to stay at one club for the greater part of their careers. One such player is Ryan Shawcross.

Born in Chester, Ryan "James" Shawcross started his youth career with Manchester United. He managed to sign his first professional contract with the Red Devils in 2006. Although his future looked promising, he only appeared twice in a United strip, both in the League Cup.
United loaned him out in 2006 to Royal Antwerp. Shawcross made 25 appearances scoring 3 times for a decent season in the Jupiler League. In 2007, Shawcross was loaned out to Stoke City. He helped Stoke win direct promotion to the Premier League by finishing second in the Championship. Shawcross scored 7 goals in 41 appearances.

In 2008 Shawcross signed a permanent contract for a £1M fee, which rose to £2M with add-ons. He has been a consistent regular over the years and is still considered the go-to centre back for Stoke City. Last season was his 10th at the Bet365, formerly Britannia Stadium.

Over the years Shawcross has had numerous partners. Robert Huth, Geoff Cameron, Marc Muniesa, Abdoulaye Faye, Leon Cort, Ibrahima Sonko, Danny Collins, Marc Wilson, Matthew Upson, Jonathan Woodgate, Philipp Wollscheid, and most recently Bruno Martins Indi.
The man who signed Shawcross was Tony Pulis. If it wasn't for the taciturn Welshman, Stoke City wouldn't be where they are now. Pulis has moved on but his influence remains, especially evident in Shawcross. Now managed by Mark Hughes, the defender's captaincy has never been questioned.  He is a player who can lead by example and keep a cool head when under pressure. The 29-year-old has played 382 games for the Potters, scoring 23 times.

England came calling back in 2012 when Roy Hodgson selected Shawcross for the national side. He made his first and only appearance against Sweden in a friendly on 4th October 2012. Shawcross came on as a replacement for Steven Caulker in the 74th minute.
In the final quarter-hour, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a hat trick including the famous long range bicycle kick which Shawcross tried to beat to the goal line but couldn't keep out. Having never been given a second opportunity, Shawcross later stated Ibra had finished his England career before it even started.

Despite seeing his international dreams shattered, Shawcross' club career remains well intact. Over the years at Stoke City no player has been as consistent. With his contract up next season, Ryan Shawcross isn't one to think twice about re-signing. He deserves a lengthy extension and its difficult to imagine the Stoke board being reluctant to offer one.
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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