Stoke star relishing competition

Stoke City's Matthew EtheringtonStoke winger Matthew Etherington is happy with the battle for first-team football at the Britannia Stadium.

The Potters underwent a summer of much change, with former boss Tony Pulis being replaced by Mark Hughes to guide the team into a new era.

‘Sparky’ has since been extremely active in the transfer market, investing heavily in new attacking talent.

The likes of Oussama Assaidi, Jermaine Pennant and Marko Arnautovic have all arrived at the club, and are all comfortable playing in a similar role to Etherington.

But, instead of being dejected at the prospect of a fight for a spot in Hughes’ starting XI, the 32-year-old is happy with the increased competition:

“I’m not going to be here for the rest of my life, so the competition is good because it does keep you on your toes,” he is quoted by Sky Sports.

“To start the first four games shows the manager trusts me, but I know that to stay in the team my performances have to be high to make sure the manager picks me.

“We’ve got two or three players in every position now and they are top-quality players. This must be the best squad we’ve had since I’ve been here and there’s some good players who can play in my position.”

Etherington has been a key player at Stoke since his 2009 arrival from West Ham, helping the club to cement themselves as a Premier League force.

The winger has made almost 150 first-team appearances, netting 13 goals in the process.

Does Matthew Etherington have much of a future at Stoke?

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