Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland has endured a difficult campaign so far this season, with the England international making a couple of high-profile errors which have cost the Potters vital points.
That has seen Butland lose his place in the starting line-up to Adam Federici for spells in the first few months of the campaign, and after dropping the ball and allowing Joe Lolley to equalise during the Potters’ 3-2 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest at the end of September, he did not feature again under Nathan Jones.
However, Michael O’Neill’s arrival as Stoke manager has given Butland another chance to re-establish himself as the club’s number one keeper – and the England international started against Barnsley last time out as the potters picked up a much-needed 4-2 win.
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Butland, though, has now been linked with a move to Premier League West Ham United in January, with the Hammers suffering an injury to their number one Lukasz Fabianski – and ExWHUemployee claimed on the West Ham Way show that the club are interested in signing the Stoke keeper, saying: “We are apparently looking to sign another keeper, possibly because we’ve realised how dire the situation is. There is talk of trying to get Jack Butland from Stoke. Potentially sign him on loan with a view to a permanent deal, obviously if you are going to get him on loan they would have to pay a large fee.”
Here then we take a look at THREE reasons why Stoke should cash in on Butland in January…
Butland’s form has really taken a huge dip over the course of the first few months of the campaign, which has seen the keeper make a number of individual errors which have cost the Potters at vital times during matches.
The Potters are in need of a reliable presence in goal given their current position in the Championship table, and with Butland making far too many errors so far this term, a change could well be needed to restore confidence in Stoke’s back four.
O’Neill will be wanting to make his side much more difficult to beat and break down over the next few weeks and months, so he will be needing to have trust in his number one to be performing to his best consistently and at the moment there is no guarantee of that from Butland.
Raise funds for O’Neill to strengthen the squad
Were Stoke to cash in on Butland in January it would provide them with some extra funds for O’Neill to add to his squad of players in key areas during the winter window, which could prove vital in helping the Potters turn around their form.
O’Neill will be looking to shape the squad in his image over the next few windows, and with the Potters struggling since their relegation from the Premier League finances will be tight, meaning he may well have to sell the likes of Butland before he is able to add to the squad.
Butland’s head being turned
During the summer transfer window there was plenty of speculation around the future of Butland at Stoke, with newly promoted Aston Villa being linked with a move for the keeper throughout the window before eventually signing Tom Heaton from Burnley.
That appears to have affected Butland’s form so far this season, with the keeper likely to be keen to make a move back to the Premier League to help his prospects of a recall to the England squad – and if his head has been turned then the Potters would be better off allowing him to leave.
In Stoke’s current position they need players who are fully committed to the club, and although Butland is a player who has a good relationship with the club, if his head has been turned even slightly it is better to bring in a replacement in January.