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Reports: Jon Walters and Glenn Whelan Could Leave Stoke This Summer

STOKE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Glenn Whelan of Stoke City celebrates with Jonathan Walters after scoring the third goal during the UEFA Europa League play-off second leg match between Stoke City and FC Thun at the Britannia Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Stoke, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The Independent are reporting that Irish duo Jonathan Walters and Glenn Whelan could exit Stoke City in the summer.

The pair are long serving players at the Bet365 stadium but with both now into their 30s, Mark Hughes could look for some fresh options in the summer as he attempts to further progress the Potters. Stoke are currently 11th in the Premier League having finished 9th last season.

Whelan, who is vice-captain at the club, has over 300 appearances since joining from Sheffield Wednesday in 2008. The Dubliner has been a regular since his arrival nearly a decade ago with his international career also thriving.

A fan favourite and trusted team member under first Tony Pulis and now Hughes, Whelan has been rotated this season, with the more technically gifted Charlie Adam, Gianelli Imbula, Geoff Cameron and Ibrahim Affelay often getting the nod.

Walters joined Stoke in 2010 from Ipswich Town and is another player to have become a fan favourite. Equally adept on the right wing and as a lone striker, Walters has scored 62 goals in all competitions in just under 270 appearances.

Should either player exit the club, their top flight and international experience will no doubt gather interest. Burnley and Newcastle are rumoured to be interested in signing Walters while Whelan would also be likely to attract a Premier League offer.

Stoke have become a sanctuary for Irish players with the likes of Rory Delap, Liam Lawrence and Marc Wilson also enjoying spells at the club. The clubs remaining Irish contingent Stephen Ireland and Shay Given are both out of contract in the summer meaning that for the first time since their promotion in 2008, Stoke could begin next season without any Irishmen in their first team.

Ireland under 21 international Ryan Sweeney is on the books of the development side. Currently on loan and impressing at Bristol Rovers, Sweeney will hope to make the jump to the first team and fly the flag for Ireland at Stoke.

Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena


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Author: Nick Menezes

Nick is a soccer, GAA and rugby fanatic who has a worrying obsession with the Irish football team. His articles focus on Irish football and he also writes some light-hearted pieces, particularly quirky starting XIs.