Tony Pulis: Ryan Shawcross can become a Stoke City legend after new Potters deal
TONY Pulis believes Ryan Shawcross can become a Stoke legend after signing a deal to keep him at the Britannia until the summer of 2018.
The 25-year-old brought his family to the training ground to mark the moment he agreed one of the longest and most lucrative contracts in the club's history.
Pulis, who celebrated the agreement by showing off his captain's three year-old son Freddie at yesterday's press conference, described the five-and-a-half year deal as a landmark moment that provided further proof of the club's on-going ambition and sensible financial investment.
"It's a great way to start the new year, signing the captain of this club who has been a fantastic acquisition," said Pulis, pictured.
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"He's grown with this club every step of the way and also gone on to play for England.
"It has been difficult and taken a while because the club wanted him to sign a long-term contract, so it has to be right.
"It's credit to Ryan, his agent and to the Coates family for doing it. It's their money and they have invested in a player who will hopefully do as well as he has over the last five years in the next five.
"It shows the club is pushing in the right direction because we also have other young players like Asmir Begovic, Marc Wilson and Steven Nzonzi signed up to long-term contracts."
Shawcross added: "The manager is probably the main reason I'm where I am. I've been here for five years and he's been great.
"I felt the manager could get the best out of me, and I want to keep improving."
Pulis admitted there had been inquiries about Shawcross, as well as other players, but he had managed to fend them off.
"There's always bits and pieces about Ryan, as with other players," he said.
"But certain managers speak to you and not other people. One or two have rung me about players and have kept it quiet."
Meanwhile, Pulis said there could be two or three changes in tomorrow's third round FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace (3pm).
He said Thomas Sorensen was a possibility in goal, while Michael Owen is fit enough to come back into contention.