Stoke manager Mark Hughes has backed Jermaine Pennant to justify the club’s decision to offer the winger a new one-year deal this summer, despite the former Arsenal man falling out of favour under previous manager Tony Pulis and seemingly heading for the exit.
After making just two appearances in the Stoke first team last season under Pulis, Pennant was farmed out on loan to Wolves. With his contract at the Britannia Stadium running to an end, it looked as though the winger was on his way out of the club, only for new manager Hughes to offer Pennant a lifeline in the form of a new one-year contract.
The 30-year-old now has another chance to impress fans of football betting this season and extend his time with Stoke, and Hughes is well aware of what a useful member of the squad the winger could be this season if he can get back to where he was a couple of seasons ago.
Pennant was unable to travel with Stoke for their pre-season tour of the United States because of his criminal record, instead playing with the under-21’s, but Hughes received some positive feedback about the winger’s pre-season form and has backed Pennant to be a big player this year.
“He’s been given another opportunity here. He loves the club, he didn’t want to leave. He thought possibly he would have to but things change very quickly in football and he’s got another chance,” said Hughes, according to the Bet365 live football commentary.
“I’m sure he’ll take it because he’s a good guy and he works hard. I think people sometimes get the wrong impression of Jermaine but he wants to play football and he wants to make an impression for us.”