Stoke boss Mark Hughes says he is is ready to offer a new contract to Peter Crouch.
In the words of The Courteeners – what took you so long?
The former England striker is Stoke’s top scorer with four goals in all competitions, despite spending much of the season warming the bench.
Crouch has expressed a desire to play until he is 40, and his cameo performances this term suggest he’s capable of doing just that.
“I think people concentrate too much on his age, in terms of where he is in his career,” Hughes told Sky Sports.
“It is a credit to him that he is playing at the level he is. I may be doing him a disservice saying he is 37, but he has at least two or three more years at this level.
“We will more than likely offer him another deal very soon. We would like to think that he will be here for a long time – I will probably speak to him today about it actually.
“Peter is an exceptional player and a great guy as well.”
Putting aside the fact that Crouch isn’t 37 until the end of January, Hughes’ comments seem something of a contradiction.
Crouch has played just 170 minutes in the league this season, a total that doesn’t suggest Hughes is fully convinced about his ability to keep producing the goods in the top flight.
It’s unlikely that Stoke or any other top flight club would offer Crouch a regular starting spot at this stage of his career, but does he really want to spend the rest of playing days sat on the bench?
Imagine the impact Crouch could have on clubs aiming for promotion from the Championship.
The likes of Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Leeds United would surely benefit from offering Crouch the chance for one last hurrah in helping them into the Premier League and utilising his experience to help them stay there?
Signing another deal with Stoke would be a sad way to end what has been an excellent career. Crouch deserves better than a few short cameos here and there.
Let’s hope he sees it the same way.