Mark Hughes says Mame Diouf remains a big part of his Stoke City plans going forward and will play in a central role.
The Senegalese striker struggled to cement a regular place in the Potters side last season and played in a variety of positions for the club.
Stoke have been linked with a number of forwards this summer, most notably Saido Berahino, and that has led to tentative talk Diouf could be on the move.
Hughes, however, has now stressed Diouf has a big role to play in the season ahead. The Potters boss indicated Diouf will revert to his primary role as a centre-forward, but may also be used in the wide areas if he sees fit.
Hughes told the Sentinel: “You know what you get from Mame. He gives us that threat in behind. If we are flat in terms of our angles when people want to just get on the ball and pass, he can make a run in behind and cause problems.
“He understands that, that’s his game.”
He added: “Centre forward is his best role – but sometimes formation wise and the shape that we have gone in for the majority of games last year, he has to do a job for us, which he is more than willing to do.”