Hughes reassures Walters of role

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes insists Jon Walters remains in his plans for this season despite the striker angling for a move away in the recently-closed transfer window.

Walters is in the last year of his contract with the Potters and handed in a transfer request last month, but Stoke rebuffed both the player's request and reported interest from Norwich.

The 31-year-old did not play against West Bromich Albion in the final game before the international break and the close of the transfer window, but Hughes revealed he will be involved against Arsenal this weekend.

"His immediate future and his future at the weekend is that he will be involved with our game against Arsenal," the Stoke boss told Sky Sports.

"Jon's not the only player that's gone through a similar situation during the transfer window. Once the window closes you have to refocus and get on with the job in hand.

"Jon's a very, very good professional. He'll get his head down.

"He's had a couple of weeks away with the international squad, did really well and scored a goal so it shows his focus was total for his international team.

"It will be similar for Stoke City; I'm absolutely certain of that.

"The transfer window is not easy for players, for managers, for football clubs. It is a distraction.

"Once the distraction is out of the way then you focus on what's important which is playing football."