‘Best player’ – Rhys Norrington-Davies sees Stoke City as platform to bid for Wales spot


It will be no surprise over the next few months to see the managers of Wales, Switzerland, Turkey and Italy at the bet365 Stadium.

Michael O’Neill now has seven Wales internationals on his books all hoping to be part of Euro 2021, including new signings Rhys Norrington-Davies and Rabbi Matondo.

Joe Allen is returning from long-term injury, Adam Davies is bidding for the international number one spot and James Chester, Morgan Fox and Sam Vokes are all trying to work their way into favour.

Norrington-Davies, who spent the first half of the season at Luton, won his first cap in October and hopes that helping Stoke push towards the top end of the Championship will further stake his claim.

He told Radio Stoke: “I want to be the best player possible – and the aim for this season is to help Stoke get into the play-offs and get promotion, or get into the top two places.

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“I’m looking forward to the summer and a lot of football to be played with the Euros coming up. Hopefully if I keep focused, everything will come together.

“I want to be a part of that 100 per cent. It’s one of the biggest tournaments in the world and I’d love to be a part of that. Hopefully this move to Stoke gives me a platform to go to another level, produce new targets and get my name out there.”

Norrington-Davies has quickly tied up a switch this week in time to be available for the trip to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, recalled by Sheffield United in order to be sent straight back out on loan.

It was almost like walking into the Wales changing room.

“I came into the club (on Tuesday) and the first guy I met was Joe Allen,” he said. “I hadn’t actually met him before, hadn’t played with him and he’s a top guy. I spoke to him about football and life at Stoke.

“I’ve known Rabbi Matondo as well through the age groups so I managed to have a good catch up with him too.”

He added: “There are loads of players at Stoke who have experience in the Premier League and internationally, right at the very top.

“I’m looking forward to coming into this environment where you’ve got great players who are ambitious and looking to do well.”

And the 21-year-old has thanked his old boss Nathan Jones for helping him get to Stoke.

He said: “Luton was a great move for me initially. I loved my time there and full respect to the gaffer for bringing me in and giving me the opportunity.

“I hadn’t played Championship football before this season but he put his trust in me and played me and it’s got me to where I am now. It led to interest from other clubs and my call-up for the Wales first team as well.

“I’m forever grateful for that and looking forward to getting involved with Stoke now.”





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