Ryan Shawcross has left Stoke City and will join MLS club Inter Miami, a story exclusively first revealed by 90min earlier this month. It brings to an end nearly 14 years with the Potters, having joined them from Manchester United in the summer of 2007.
Four months before it was due to expire anyway, Stoke have terminated Shawcross’ contract by mutual consent. It allows him to become a free agent and sign for Inter Miami ahead of the 2021 MLS season, with pre-season training camps already underway.
A statement from Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes read, “Ryan’s contribution to the club over the last 14 years simply cannot be overstated. His outstanding leadership and the consistency of his displays made him a talismanic figure for us.
“He has been an outstanding role-model, both on and off the pitch, and the way he applied himself in training and matches epitomised the city of Stoke-on-Trent – hard-working, committed and loyal.
“He feels the time is right to explore new opportunities and leaves with our very best wishes. I would like to take this opportunity to wish Ryan, his wife Kath and their family every success for the future - they will always be welcome at the bet365 Stadium.”
Inter Miami are co-owned by David Beckham and coached by Phil Neville, both of whom were in the Manchester United first-team when Shawcross was in the club’s academy.
Miami already boast a squad that includes former Juventus stars Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi, while they have also invested in younger Latin American players like Matias Pellegrini and Rodolfo Pizarro, both of whom have been handed ‘Designated Player’ status.
Latin American culture is tremendously important to the club, who have built an identity to reflect the largely bi-lingual local community in south Florida and have 10 native Spanish speakers in the squad. But they are no strangers to looking further afield for players and also brought in former Celtic and Sunderland winger Lewis Morgan last year.
Shawcross, who was one of the Premier League’s top centre-backs at his peak and even played his way into the England set-up, will add a wealth of experience to the defensive ranks ahead of an important second season in MLS for the club, having disappointed in their debut year in 2020.