'He's not going anywhere' - Hughes rules out Stoke exit for Crouch

The striker has been linked with moves to rejoin former managers at Crystal Palace and QPR, but the Potters boss insists he will not be leaving the Britannia Stadium in January
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes insists Peter Crouch will remain at the club in January.

Crouch capped a fine performance against former side Aston Villa on Saturday with the winning goal in a 2-1 triumph that lifted Stoke to 10th in the Premier League.

With Hughes openly seeking attacking reinforcements, Crouch has been linked with moves to Crystal Palace, managed by former Stoke boss Tony Pulis, and QPR, but Hughes has ruled out a January exit.

"He's not going anywhere in January," Hughes told reporters. "He gives a focus to our attacking play.

"I played that role for many years myself, with my back to goal, and it's a thankless task on occasions. Sometimes you have to take hits for the team, and that's what Peter did and has done for a long time.

"He's an accomplished football player. He's been playing at this level for a long time now. You don't do that unless you're a very good player, and that's what he has been for a long time."

While Hughes expects Crouch to remain part of his plans, the Stoke boss is pessimistic over his chances of keeping Oussama Assaidi, who is on a season-long loan from Liverpool, on a permanent basis.

"It's not our choice. He's a Liverpool player," Hughes continued. "He's done very well. I think he's enjoying his time here, but I think he has ambitions to go back to Liverpool and show what he can do."