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Osaze plans Premier League exit

Osaze Odemwingie

Festus Abu

Veteran Stoke forward Osaze Odemwingie has declared his intention to quit the Premier League at the end of the season.

The South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner, who is in the final year of his current contract and has only started one game for the Potters this season, has been sidelined by a hamstring strain.

The 34-year-old, who joined Stoke from Cardiff City in the January 2014 transfer window, was out for eight months after he ruptured cruciate ligaments in a league game against Manchester City in August 2014.

Osaze says he has got his sights set on Stoke’s third round FA Cup clash against League One outfit Doncaster Rovers on January 9, 2016 to make his long-awaited comeback.

“This is maybe my last season, or last but one season, in the Premier League and so I appreciate the game time more than ever,” Stoke Sentinel quoted the former Lokomotiv Moscow star as saying on Tuesday.

Osaze, who signed a new one-year deal in July, expressed his disappointment at being sidelined by a late injury in last week’s Carling Cup fixture against Sheffield Wednesday. The former Lille attacker was scheduled to make his return to action in the game, which Stoke eventually won 3-0, but manager Mark Hughes was forced to withdraw him from the game after the Super Eagles player got a slight hamstring pull.

Meanwhile, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games silver medallist says the Potters enjoyed their Christmas party in London on Saturday night as they celebrated their 2-0 win over Manchester City a few hours earlier.

“This is the best dressing room in my career and we had a great Christmas do after the win,” he said.

“Some people said they (Manchester City) weren’t energetic enough and had injuries, but it was still Manchester City. We are flying and I’m happy for the team.”

The former West Brom forward represented Nigeria at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. He won bronze at the 2004, 2006 and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.

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