Hughes keen to keep Walters and Wilson

Date published: Thursday 16th July 2015 10:28

Walters and Wilson have both entered the final 12 months of their current deals at the Britannia Stadium, but Hughes is keen to keep hold of the Republic of Ireland duo.

“There are still conversations to be had, but I think they are progressing well,” Hughes told The Sentinel regarding the club’s contract negotiations with the pair.

“We are pleased with the deals we’ve done and we have got a really strong core group which has been with the club for a long time. We want to maintain that.

“It’s really important for our ability to compete to keep that constant in a very difficult league. I’m very conscious and aware of that strength of that core group of players who have been with the club for a long time.

“Jon Walters and Marc Wilson are a big part of that.”

Stoke have already tied Geoff Cameron, Charlie Adam, Peter Crouch and Glenn Whelan down to new contracts this summer, but Player of the Season Steven N’Zonzi has joined Sevilla, while long-serving Asmir Begovic and Robert Huth have moved to Chelsea and Leicester respectively.

Walters wants to commit his future to the club, however, and has stressed the importance of continuity within the squad.

“There’s nothing sorted as of yet. We’ll see what happens,” Walters said on his contract.

“I’ve been here five seasons now. Each year we’ve improved and as a player I still feel like I’m getting better and better each season too.

“It’s a good project to be involved in.

“We’ve just finished ninth back to back, we’re improving, signing better players and it’s an exciting time to be here.”

He added: “I think every squad and every team needs a good core to the dressing room.

“Unfortunately we’ve lost Asmir (Begovic) and Robert Huth as well who was a big character behind the scenes in the changing room.

“That’s a big part of the club, especially when new players come in and you try to integrate them into the squad.

“But I think we’ve got a pretty good squad at the moment and I think we’ll still make another couple of good signings before the end of the transfer window.”

Walters also revealed he is feeling fit and free of injury after a summer break which helped him recover from a niggling knee injury.

“It was probably a difficult season last year with my knee which has been a bit sore throughout the whole time,” said Walters.

“If I had taken a break it would have gone but I didn’t, I left it until the summer.

“It was a bit of a tendon thing so it was a case of loading it up every week to play games – and sometimes two games every week with training, so having that four-week break after the internationals has settled it right down.

“It feels great now, completely better, and that’s off my mind.

“I feel like I’m getting better and I think my form showed that last season.”

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