Former Republic of Ireland international Shay Given faces a dilemma regarding his future having been released by Stoke City.
The 41-year-old has been let go by the Premier League club, and could now decide the time is right to hang up his boots after a long and successful career.
Stoke submitted their retained list to the Premier League on Friday morning outlining which out-of-contract players were being kept and which were being let go – and unfortunately for Given, he heads up the latter.
In all, Given made eight Premier League appearances for the Potters since joining from Aston Villa in 2015. He was signed as Mark Hughes to be a backup to Jack Butland but the England international’s injury problems thrust him back into the starting eleven at the beginning of the season just gone, eventually losing his place with the loan signing of Lee Grant from Derby County.
If Given does decide to retire, it will bring an end to a career that has seen him amass over 600 club appearances across more than two decades as a player, beginning as a youth player in Blackburn Rovers’ Premier League-winning squad in 1994/95, and enjoying spells (either on loan or permanently) at Swindon, Sunderland, Newcastle, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough.
He also earned 134 Ireland caps before retiring from international duty first after the European Championships in 21012, and again after Euro 2016 after a brief comeback.
Stephen Ireland, meanwhile, has been offered a new deal by the club. The 30-year-old has not played for Stoke since May 2016, and is currently recovering from a broken leg, but Hughes had previously outlined plans to offer him new terms while he recovers from the injury with the situation to be assessed once again later on in the year.
On this week’s episode of the Mixer football podcast, we speak to Bohemians striker Dinny Corcoran on a tense battle for league survival, as well as the usual discussion on all things League of Ireland.