Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland has been urged to stay at the club this summer amid potential interest from a number of Premier League clubs.
Butland, 24, has just returned to first team action after 12 months out with a broken ankle, but has returned in good form.
With plenty of top clubs in the hunt for a new goalkeeper, Stoke boss Mark Hughes has warned the stopper he is best off staying in The Potteries.
Manchester United could be about to lose David de Gea this summer, whilst Manchester City, Everton, Liverpool, Arsenal and West Ham have all been linked with making a move for other goalkeeper, meaning that Butland could be on one of their radars this summer.
Liverpool and Manchester City are keen to bring in yet another new number one after a series of errors from their ‘keepers respectively, whilst Everton also want a new keeper to replace Joel Robles who also has a mistake or two in him.
“Jack knows what he’s got here. He’s an established keeper at a good Premier League club and has featured for England.
It’s sometimes said that at Stoke you can’t get international recognition, but that’s not the case with Jack.
He’s made the full England squad and is well thought of within that group, so it shows what you can attain here.
There might be a little bit of a churn in terms of goalkeepers at the top end of good European leagues, the Premier League included in that, so there could be a changing of the guard in some respects.
But from our point of view we are more concerned in making sure Jack is fit and well for next year and I know that is solely the focus for Jack as well.
The speculation was there before the injury and now it’s just re-surfaced and people are just possibly jumping the gun thinking that he’s back to the level he was.
It’s still going to take a little bit more time. Knowing Jack he will look to the England games and hope he gets a look in there. That would be a bonus and we wouldn’t be averse to that because it would give him more game time.
First and foremost he needs to get back and be comfortable playing week in and week out, playing, recovering, playing and that’s the rhythm we are trying to get him into now.”
Hughes also used former Stoke ‘keeper Asmir Begovic, who moved to Chelsea in 2015, as an example to Butland of how too much ambition can lead to disappointments.
“We always felt Asmir would move because he’s an outstanding keeper in his own right and got a great move to Chelsea.
I’m sure when he went to Chelsea, knowing Asmir, he’d back his ability against anybody to be No 1 there and I think that was the motivation to go. As it is, he hasn’t been able to get that No 1 spot and that will frustrate him.
He’s an outstanding keeper and it just hasn’t worked out because he’s a No 1 keeper and No 1 keepers want to play week-in, week-out.”
Should Butland stay at Stoke? Is he too good to stay? If he leaves, where do you see him going? Leave us a comment.