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29th Mar 2018

Stoke’s forgotten midfielder told to get lost by the club

He'll never play for the club again

Robert Redmond

Stoke City are deep in a relegation battle, and their manager only wants players who are fully committed to the cause.

Stoke are second from bottom in the Premier League, three points from safety with seven games to go this season. Next up is Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday, a fixture where they have tasted defeat nine-times in a row. Ahead of the game, Paul Lambert has reportedly banished Ibrahim Afellay from the club.

According to The Telegraph, the Stoke manager has told Afellay to stay away from the club, and that he won’t play any part in the final games of the season. The Dutch midfielder has reportedly left Lambert exasperated with his “attitude and performances in training.” The former Barcelona midfielder joined Stoke on a free transfer in 2015 and has made 55 appearances for the Potters over the past three seasons, scoring three goals.

Afellay last played for the club in December. The report claims that he will still be paid by Stoke – on wages of £30,000-a-week – but he’s no longer welcome at the training ground. Talks are due to begin on a mutual termination of his contract. Afellay, who has 53 caps for The Netherlands, has a year left on his contract. It now appears almost certain that he will be looking for a new club in the summer.

The 31-year-old began his career at PSV Eindhoven and was part of the Barcelona side which won a treble in 2011. He was also a member of the Dutch squad that reached the final of the 2010 World Cup.

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