Crouch will not leave Stoke in January, says Hughes

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has insisted that striker Peter Crouch will not leave the Britannia Stadium in January, Sky Sports has reported.

The England international has been linked with a move away from the Potteries since the summer, with Championship high-flyers Queens Park Rangers – managed by Crouch’s former boss Harry Redknapp – among his possible destinations. However, his current manager appeared to dispel those rumours.

“He’s not going anywhere in January,” said Hughes. “He obviously gives us a focus to our attacking play. I played that role for many years with my back to the goal, and it’s a thankless task on occasions. Sometimes you have to take hits for the team. He’s an accomplished football player. He’s been playing at this level for a long time and you don’t do that unless you’re a very good player.”

Hughes’ words came after Crouch scored the winner in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, which was enough for the club to move into the top half of the Premier League. Crouch’s close range finish, after earlier strikes by teammate Charlie Adam and Villa’s Libor Kozak, completed a man-of-the-match display from the 32-year-old.

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