Stoke City boss Paul Lambert has issued specific instructions to Ibrahim Afellay to stay well away from the club until the end of the season.
Afellay has made just six appearances (totalling 163 minutes) for the Potters and a grand total of none since Lambert took over from Mark Hughes in January. In fact, the Dutch midfielder’s last run-out came in the hefty 5-0 defeat against Chelsea on 30th December.
Indeed, the last time the 31-year-old managed a full 90 minutes for Stoke was against Everton on 1st February, 2017 – well over a year ago.
Unsurprisingly, with the club edging perilously closer to relegation, Lambert has singled out Afellay as a “bad influence” due to his poor attitude in training and thus thrust ‘persona non grata’ status upon him until the end of the campaign.
According to the Stoke Sentinel, the decision has been fully supported by Potters’ chairman Peter Coates:
Coates has backed Paul Lambert’s decision to kick Ibrahim Afellay out of his first-team plans following a training-ground bust up.
Lambert took exception to Afellay’s open dissent in front of the other players and has told [him] to stay away from the training ground for the rest of the season.
No great loss, we should coco.
Afellay still has a whole ‘nother year left on his contract but the writing definitely seems to be on the wall, though we can’t imagine potential suitors will be queuing around the block to acquire his services given his utterly anonymous nigh-on-four-year stint at Stoke.
Chinese Super League, over to you…