Walters could leave Turf Moor
Jon Walters is half way through a two year contract at Burnley, but after a difficult first season brought about by ankle and knee injuries, he could be set to depart this summer after talks with manager Sean Dyche.
Speaking on Sky Sports News this evening, Walters, who is currently on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, said: “I had a few little niggly injuries, ankle and knee, and then I’ve been fit for a while, but not been picked. But I can’t moan. The team is doing well and I suppose that’s part and parcel of it. I’m delighted to come over and hopefully get some minutes and show I’m still a footballer.
“I’ve been fit for a while and in the squad and not been picked. Look, I can’t moan too much. The team is doing ever so well, but I have spoken to the manager and I think I’m available to go if needs be. I’ll assess it and see what’s there, but first and foremost, there are these games (internationals). I want to get back playing, get minutes under my belt and show I am still playing.”
Walters joined Burnley on 7th July last year. At the time of his signing, Martin Spinks, for the Stoke Sentinel, wrote: “His exit will spell the end for one of the club’s most popular players of recent years. Since arriving from Ipswich for £2.75m in 2010, Walters has invariably delivered when it counts most and endeared himself to supporters appreciating his ceaseless endeavour and occasional brilliance.”
Meanwhile, former Port Vale legend Robbie Earle said of him: “Jon Walters must be one of Stoke City’s finest signings of the last decade. Look at the stats: More than 250 games played, 62 goals scored and thousands of miles covered by one of the hardest working players you could ever wish to see. So, if Walters does complete a move to Burnley then I am sure he will get a rousing reception whenever he returns to the bet365 Stadium. Let’s face it, he doesn’t owe Stoke anything.”
Walters was, as expected, on the bench for our opening game of the season at Chelsea, making his debut as a substitute. He got his first, and only start, at Ewood Park in our easy League Cup win against Blackburn, but suffered an early ankle injury that forced him off before half time. His only appearances since came, again as a substitute, at Manchester United on Boxing Day and at Manchester City in the FA Cup eleven days later.
There was speculation in January that he might go to the car crash at Sunderland, but a knee injury requiring surgery put paid to that and since regaining fitness he’s not been able to force his way back in the team.
Given tonight’s interview, it does look as though Walters is likely to move on ahead of the new season. There is likely to be no shortage of interest and there is no doubt that the Stoke fans would welcome him back with open arms.
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