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Stoke legend Smith understands Wilkinson, Shotton leaving

Stoke City legend Denis Smith doesn't blame local lads Andy Wilkinson and Ryan Shotton for plans of moving on.

Shotton's loan move to Derby will become officially permanent in the January window, while Wilkinson fears he has played his last game amid loan interest from Fulham, Birmingham and Millwall.

"You are in football to play, not just sit and take the money, and you only have a limited shelf life," says Smith to The Sentinel. "No footballer should want to retire rich having only played 100 games.

"They were both good lads to have around because of their excellent attitudes, but there comes a time when they have to be playing."

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