No limits on older players for Hughes at Stoke

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has indicated that there will be no limit on where Mark Hughes decides to go in terms of his transfer business. Hughes was appointed a fortnight ago by the Potters to replace Tony Pulis, and has already considered some of the ageing players as deadwood.

Michael Owen retired, whilst the likes of Dean Whitehead, Matthew Upson and Carlo Nash were allowed to leave for free this summer. It means the average age of the Stoke squad has dropped considerably, as it was the third oldest outfit last season in the Premier League.

However, despite wanting a change in the club’s direction, Coates won’t adopt a transfer policy that clubs like Liverpool and Aston Villa have adopted and force his new boss to simply buy young.

As quoted by Sky Sports, he told the Daily Star: “When you’re dealing in the transfer market, you like the players to be the right age so they have a residual value.

But that doesn’t mean we are going to sign exclusively younger players. There’s a certain age beyond which we’re not comfortable buying because there will be no value afterwards – but a team also needs experience.

Stoke have already signed Jack Butland from Birmingham as part of Pulis’ legacy, although he might be sent out on loan if Asmir Begovic stays at the club. The club have also been strongly linked with Liverpool’s out-of-favour midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.

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