Get used to the Shawcross rumours
With the January transfer window just over a month away, the rumour mill is abuzz with more talk of Ryan's departure.
Shawcross has long been regarded as the Potters' brightest prospect (and therefore our most bankable asset) and it's no surprise that moves to Arsenal, Liverpool and a return to his former club, Man United have all been mooted over the past months.
The current skipper has been quietly getting on with business after last season's turbulent episode in the wake of the Ramsey incident. Ironically, that same day, he was called up for the England squad for the first time but international opportunities have been distinctly thin on the ground since then, which is amazing considering the dearth of defensive talent that England have at their disposal.
Many commentators have been recognising this and putting it about that Shawcross will not get a call-up while he's playing for Stoke. If that really is the case, then it's a sad indictment on the state of the game and Mr Capello's limited imagination. More likely, it's typical agent stuff aimed at persuading our gifted young defender that his future would be better served elsewhere. But it's still a mystery why he's never had that second call - especially since the World Cup fiasco has left us crying out for new blood.
No Stoke fan will want to see Ryan depart the Brit anytime soon, but we do need to accept that if he does realise his full potential then the so-called bigger clubs will come calling and be able to offer bigger and better dreams (and fatter pay cheques) then even we can offer at the moment. The most frustrating thing then will be the fact that Capello (or however is then in charge) will have to take more notice of Ryan and his England future will be assured.
For now, let's take advantage of his undoubted skill and when the time comes, make sure that we make a killing out of whichever club does finally buy one of England's hottest (but, as yet, untapped) prospects.
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