Why the Future Remains Bright for Stoke City Keeper Jack Butland Despite Potters’ Relegation

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Following the relegation of Stoke City from the Premier League many questions have been asked of the futures of their star players, none more so than England goalkeeper Jack Butland.

Beginning his career with Birmingham, Butland soon made a name for himself at St Andrew’s and it wasn’t long before the big boys in England’s top division came calling. After rejecting a bid from Southampton, Birmingham finally sold Butland to Stoke in January 2013. 

Not guaranteed first team football at the Potters, Butland went on a series of loans, to such clubs as Barnsley and Leeds United. The 2012/13 season was the Englishman’s breakthrough season and since then has been an ever-present between the sticks for the Potters.

A regular in the England youth system, Butland was first given his senior debut in 2012. Picked regularly under Roy Hodgson, it seemed as though the young goalkeeper would be England’s number one in the 2016 European Championship, however, a serious ankle injury in the 3-2 win against Germany months before the competition meant that Butland missed his chance at cementing his position as England’s regular goalie. 

Despite returning from that serious ankle injury in 2017, Butland has been unable to stamp his authority on the national stage, with a broken finger ruling him out for a short period time on the eve of England’s friendly against Germany in November of last year, a game in which the goalkeeper was tipped to start in.

Selected for the upcoming World Cup for the English national team, it is still uncertain whether or not if Butland will be number one or if Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will be given the nod. 

A good performance on the world stage this summer could even attract interest from several clubs around Europe, and with young English talent in the likes of Jadon Sancho and Ademola Lookman sparkling abroad, Butland could be tempted to ply his trade in the mainland of Europe next season.

Still only 25 years of age and with his best years still ahead of him, Butland is sure to be on the radar of some of England’s top clubs this summer. Teams like Southampton, Bournemouth and even Arsenal could be good fits for the shot-stopper, who has shown in the past he is able not only to keep out goals but play out from the back.

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