Stoke City fans were given some good news just before their game against Liverpool on Wednesday when the club announced that English veteran Peter Crouch has extended his stay at the BET365 till 2019.
With three goals in nine substitute appearances already this season, Crouch has shown that he is still an important part of the club and his extension is certainly a step in the right direction for the Potters.
The 36-year old is a product of the Tottenham Hotspur academy but made his first senior appearances for QPR, before moving on to several clubs in a career that has seen him play for nine different English clubs in just under two decades.
His most productive stint came at Anfield, where he scored 22 league goals in 85 games over three years at the club. He won the League Cup in his first season at Liverpool and is a player most Reds have fond memories of. He seemed to have lost his charm in his second stint with Spurs but Stoke City decided to give him a shot, and have kept hold of him, since his then club record £12m signing, more than seven years ago.
He has 43 goals in 180 appearances for the club in this time at the club, three of which have come this season. He is yet to start a game in the league this campaign but has been an impact substitute, making enough influence to earn him a new deal.
He has seven goals and two assists in 13 starts last season and his experience is surely helping Stoke City steal some points. He has goals against West Brom, Southampton and Leicester City this season, all three coming off the bench and his side have picked up five points in these games.
Even at 36, his experience and unique abilities in the final third make Stoke a balanced unit and his influence on the dressing room can also not be forgotten.
Eric Maxim Chupo-Moting remains Stoke’s most productive striker this season while Sadio Berahino, Jese and even Xhedran Shaqiri have all been used, to decent effect. However, the Potters have just scored 16 goals this season in 13 games and definitely need to improve in the final third.
They have a number of options but Crouch provides a completely different dimension to the game, something Mark Hughes has handled well in his time at the club.
“He still has so much to offer us. He may be 36 but he continues to have a major impact on games, as he has proved on numerous occasions this season,” the manager said after Crouch extended his deal.