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Inside FutbolInside Futbol

12/06/2020 - 21:51 BST

Toss-up Between Him And Eden Hazard – Former Stoke Star Lauds Ex-Potter


Former Stoke City defender Andy Wilkinson has bracketed Matthew Etherington with Real Madrid star Eden Hazard while picking his six-a-side team.

Wilkinson came through the youth academy at Stoke and played for the club from 2001 until 2016, spending seven seasons with the Potters in the cut and thrust of the Premier League.  


He was joined at the club in 2009 by Etherington, arriving from West Ham United, and the two players played alongside each other for Stoke, helping the side reach the FA Cup final in 2011; both played at Wembley.

Wilkinson is full of praise for his former team-mate, who he believes was a top-class player and had an amazing work ethic.

Wilkinson even indicated that Etherington is on par with Hazard, who he locked horns with when the Belgian was at Chelsea.

"I wanted to get Matthew Etherington into the team", Wilkinson told Stoke's official site while picking his six-a-side team.

"He was a top player whose work rate was immense.

"If he played in front of me I knew there was always the option to give him the ball or he was going to track back and do the dirty side of the game.


"It’s a toss-up between him and one of the best players I’ve played against – Eden Hazard.

"He had such a good change of direction and work ethic, and wherever he got the ball into his feet he would touch it away so you couldn’t get it.

"He was a top-class player.

"Between those two it’s really difficult but I’m going to go with Matty."

Etherington made over 150 appearances for Stoke during his time at the club and departed the Potters at the end of the 2013/14 campaign.

He retired from football in December 2014.