Stoke City get their man as talks conclude with influential defender signing new contract

The bet365 Stadium, home of Stoke City, hosting the final game of the season against Bristol City.
Stoke City has announced a new contract for defender Enda Stevens. -Credit:Gary Oakley/Getty Images

Veteran defender Enda Stevens has signed a new one-year contract to extend his stay at Stoke City. The 33-year-old star of Sheffield United’s previous Premier League campaign had been in talks with the Potters about staying on at the bet365 Stadium after arriving from Bramall Lane last July.

The Republic or Ireland international left-back suffered an injury-hit first campaign with the Potters, managing just 21 appearances. However, Stoke won nine of those games, and the club hierarchy were keen to make the most of his experience, as manager Steven Schumacher remoulds his squad over the summer after a disappointing 2023/24 Championship campaign.

“I’m delighted to have signed a new contract because I’m really enjoying my time here,” Stevens told the club website.

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“I love the whole stature of the cub, the stadium, the training ground and the ambition. I really want to be part of driving Stoke City forward.

“I look at the squad here and see a lot of talented footballers. With the experience the lads gained last season, we are capable of achieving success.”

Stoke recorded four wins and three draws from their final eight matches following Stevens’ return from injury in late March. Overall, they averaged 1.5 points from the 18 games in which he featured over the entire season.

Stoke City sporting director Jonathan Walters, himself a former Republic of Ireland international, added: “We finished last season strongly and Enda played his part in that.

“He brought quality to our side with and without the ball, as well as the wisdom of having seen everything there is to see at this level, and that helped us immensely in those high-pressure games.

“Enda’s performances towards the back end of the season will not have gone unnoticed by our fans, who I believe will be pleased to have him back for next season.

“As someone who knows what it takes to be successful in Championship football and beyond, he has a wealth of knowledge from which our younger players can benefit.”

Stevens was given his first taste of English football by Aston Villa, making seven appearances and a series of loan moves after being signed by Alex McLeish in August 2011. He then moved on to Portsmouth for two seasons before the pivotal period of his career at Sheffield United. In all, he made 192 appearances for the Blades after arriving in South Yorkshire in 2017 and winning promotion to the top-flight two seasons later.

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