sport

N'Zonzi happy to stay at Stoke

Steven N'Zonzi is generating transfer gossip again, but the midfielder says he would be happy to remain at Stoke City.

It appeared as though the 25-year-old may be heading for the exits when he was kept out of Mark Hughes' starting line-up in February.

He has, however, forced his way back into the first team fold and ended the season in impressive style.

His efforts have not gone unnoticed, with various clubs reported to be monitoring his situation, but N'Zonzi insists he will not be looking for a move.

"We will see. Hopefully (I will be here next year)," he said in The Sentinel.

"I've had a great season. It's been great for me, I've really enjoyed it. Hopefully I will enjoy the next season, too.

"I'm ambitious, but so are Stoke. To finish in the top half of the Premier League is a great achievement.

"That's good for the club, and even more so for a club which has never finished in the top half of the Premier League before, and that's good for the future.

"As a footballer you have to want to play at the highest level possible. For myself, for the team, it's the same. You have to aim as high as you can.

"We have great players here. We've finished in the top 10 this season and the aim is to finish even higher next season. You have to aim for improvement all the time."

N'Zonzi believes Stoke have improved considerably under Hughes' guidance, with a footballing philosophy having been introduced at the Britannia Stadium.

He added: "We're playing great, quick counter-attacking football and that's exciting for the supporters. The atmosphere is really nice at the club with the fans happy.

"We can hit teams with power and pace. We break forward quickly and we can keep the ball as well.

"The possession against Fulham last weekend was something like 64 per cent and that shows a big improvement in the team. That's great news for next season.

"Sometimes you have to play quick and break the line, sometimes you have to take it easy on the ball and keep possession a little bit.

"The Fulham win was a good example of that. We did it brilliantly. We could move the ball forward quickly, but we also kept possession when required. That was very good."