Football FanCast guest columnist Jordan McFarland wonders if Shawcross will be able to resist the allure of a Liverpool move.
Ryan Shawcross must surely represent Tony Pulis' best bit of business in all his time at the Britannia Stadium and there is no doubting that when he does eventually look to leave Stoke we will be receiving a record fee, such has his stock raised in the past 12 months. For me there are few better upcoming defenders in the game and we are extremely privileged to have him. Shawcross came out yesterday and claimed that he had no intention of leaving us; however with the player yet to agree a new deal as yet and the likes of Liverpool reportedly ready to pounce, I have my doubts.
Maybe I am entirely wrong in thinking that and shouldn't tarnish every footballer with the same brush, but if Shawcross wants to stay so much, why doesn't he put pen to paper right away and quell our fears once and for all. Pulis want him to stay, every living and breathing Stoke fan wants him to stay, but it is up to the player to rubberstamp his own self commitment by signing a deal. Perhaps his agent or advisor (who clearly knows that his stock has risen) is making sure that he bides his time, to firstly as an attempt to get a bigger contract from us, or see if the Liverpool's of this world do in fact put in a firm offer in January that will put the club in something of a tight spot, considering he will only have 18months of his contract remaining. Stoke won't want to lose out on a big offer if it comes in, despite how desperate we are to keep a player of his worldly ability at the club.
So what is the view of the rest of us and do you feel that it is time for Shawcross to put up or shut up, so to speak? If Ryan wants to stay then he should show his hand now and sign a new deal, otherwise the club is left in an awkward position of what to do in the next ten weeks as the speculation will crank up as January fast approaches. I know we are no Liverpool and never will be in terms of size or prestige, but Ryan should adhere to his own view that a move may not be in his best interests, due to the lack of an assurance of a starting place, but the proof of the pudding would be is if an offer came in. Will he be able to turn down a move to Liverpool if it were presented to him, I'm not so sure.