June 18, 2018 / 11:20 AM / in 5 months

Soccer: Allen signs new four-year deal at Stoke

Soccer Football - Premier League - Stoke City vs Huddersfield Town - bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Britain - January 20, 2018 Stoke City's Joe Allen celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Peter Powell

(Reuters) - Welsh midfielder Joe Allen has signed a new four year contract with Stoke City, despite the side’s relegation from the Premier League, the club said on Monday.

The 28-year-old playmaker made 36 appearances in the top-flight last season, scoring two goals, as Stoke finished second-bottom in the standings.

“I spoke to Tony Scholes (Stoke’s chief executive) once the season had ended and he made it very clear that the club weren’t interested in selling me and that they wanted me to stay on,” Allen, who has 42 Wales caps, said in a statement.

“As players we have to shoulder responsibility for what happened last season.”

Allen’s new contract has boosted Stoke’s bid to bounce straight back to the top division after manager Gary Rowett’s arrival and the recent signings of Benik Afobe and Oghenekaro Peter Etebo.

Reporting by Anirban Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Keith Weir

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