Peter Crouch has an integral role to offer for Stoke this season, says Gary Rowett.
Stoke manager Gary Rowett insists Peter Crouch has a pivotal role to play in the club’s bid to earn an immediate return to the Premier League.
Crouch is understood to be interesting Burnley over a summer departure from the bet365 Stadium before the transfer deadline on August 9.
Despite admitting that every player has their price, Rowett, who took the helm at Stoke after missing out on promotion with Derby, is in no doubt about the importance of the former England international.
“Crouchy is certainly not one of those players we want to lose,” Rowett told Sky Sports News at the EFL launch.
“He is the type of guy you want around the group. He has obviously played in the Championship before so he knows what it is about.
“He is a Premier League quality striker and he is such a different option to have. We all know of his aerial ability.
“I remember playing against him when he was a young player at Portsmouth and he has got great feet. He has got a great appreciation of the game as well and he is still as enthusiastic as any young player.
“He is not only the type of player you want in your squad but also he will be very valuable this season.”
Another forward who Rowett is counting on this term is Saido Berahino, who ended last season away from the first-team after being banished by former manager Paul Lambert following disciplinary issues.
Berahino has not scored since February 2016 but Rowett, who also has new signing Benik Afobe and Mame Biram Diouf as attacking options, says he has seen encouraging signs from the 24-year-old in pre-season.
“The fact he has not scored much for the last couple of years, I certainly expect a player of his quality to drop down a division and score goals,” he said.
“The key to everybody is he has started really well, with a hunger and humility to change his own actions and he has taken full responsibility which I think is a great start.
“But he is a striker and he has to back that up on the pitch and score goals. It is the same with any striker.
“I don’t think Stoke scored enough goals last season. That is certainly one thing we want all those strikers to add to.”
Stoke have made five summer signings, bringing in Afobe, Oghenekaro Etebo, Adam Federici, James McClean and Tom Ince but Rowett says the Potters remain active ahead of their Championship opener against Leeds at Elland Road on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Football.
0:46 Stoke manager Gary Rowett hopes to bring in two further players ahead of their Championship opener this weekend.
Leeds vs Stoke
August 5, 2018, 3:30pm
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“We are always looking,” said Rowett, who revealed they were looking at defensive targets. “Whilst the window hasn’t got that long to run there is always the loan window as well that extends beyond that.
“We certainly will not panic and get players in just yet. But we are looking to make a couple of additions before the weekend’s game.”