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Hughes: N'Zonzi key to plans

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes has played down suggestions midfielder Steven N'Zonzi might leave the club this summer.

Last Updated: 26/03/14 at 18:50 Post Comment

Steven N'Zonzi: Stoke midfielder integral to Mark Hughes' plans

Steven N'Zonzi: Stoke midfielder integral to Mark Hughes' plans

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N'Zonzi, who is back in Stoke's first team after being left on the subs' bench during February, was non-committal over his future in the Potteries in an interview with The Sentinel.

He said: "You never know in football, so I cannot answer that. Everybody is talking about what will happen next season, but as a player you do not know."

The Frenchman had a transfer request rejected at the end of last season but Hughes is keen that he sees out the four-year deal he signed in the summer of 2012 and sees him as a key player in his squad.

"I think he is enjoying his football at the moment," Hughes said.

"I have seen quotes in recent articles and I think all he is saying is that, like all the guys at the club, he is concentrating on getting to the end of the season, making sure we get as many points as we can and seeing where it takes us.

"We are trying to build the club and build the team, and he is very much integral to that process."

Hughes was further asked if he saw N'Zonzi - who reportedly asked for a move from previous club Blackburn as well - as a troublemaker but he swiftly rejected that assertion.

"No. Steven sometimes gets frustrated with himself, and probably too much so, but I think he is maturing as a player and a person," Hughes added.

"He understood when he did go out of the team that him not getting back in was through no fault of his own - it was just a consequence of the players who had come in doing well.

"But as soon as he got back in the team he performed well, his level was high and as a consequence he stayed in, and that is how I like it to be."

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

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