Can we ever let Rory leave Stoke?
With Rory Delap now as well known as any of the multi million pound stars in the Premier League, many are questioning how long Stoke can hold on to the man with the long throw.
Arsenal are only the latest to suffer from Rory's capabilities with many opposition players and managers agreeing that his throws are 'indefendable'. So it's not surprising that the media are now asking how long it will be before we get an offer from another club that we can't turn down.
Chairman, Peter Coates was asked that very question the other day and replied (we trust, tongue-in-cheek) that a figure in the region of £25m would be considered. Stoke fans will be aghast that there is even the merest mention of any possibility of Delap leaving the club in the January transfer window. But with no player ever beyond price we need to at least have the thought that it could happen.
I'd like to hope that the club will turn down any offer at least before the summer and hopefully longer. He still has another full year on his contract (to 2010) and with luck his agent will not start making life too difficult before this summer.
Rory does seem to be the sort of guy who would be loyal to a club who have backed him in the past and so hopefully this scenario will not arise. You only have to go back to when he joined on loan from Sunderland in 2006 and then promptly broke his leg in his home debut to remember that the club stood by their promise to make his transfer permanent in January 2007 despite the injury keeping him out for the remainder of the season. Rory was very public in his praise for the manager and chairman when he said many other clubs would have just sent him back to Sunderland.
Having said that, we have to remember that he is a professional footballer and that he would want to be where he can earn the most money and have a place in a starting eleven especially now that he is 32 and entering the final phase of his playing career. With that in mind, we just hope that the club are already looking to get a contract extension agreed with Rory as soon as possible.