With the January transfer window fast approaching, Jack Butland’s future at Stoke City is likely to be a major talking point throughout the winter.
The 26-year-old’s summer was dominated by speculation linking him with a move to the Premier League, after spending one year in the Championship.
Butland has endured an incredibly tough season so far, though, with Stoke sitting in the relegation zone after a frankly dismal campaign thus far.
The England international has been in and out of the team after making a host of glaring errors – the 3-1 defeat to Preston North End in August stands out like a sore thumb.
He was back in the team for Michael O’Neill’s first game in charge of the Potters, in a 4-2 win over Barnsley last time out, but it remains to be seen where his future lies with January looming.
He said: “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.”
Roberto has failed to impress since stepping up in Lukasz Fabianski’s absence, so a move to the top-flight could well be on the cards.
Here, we take a look at Butland’s season in greater detail…
It has been a dismal start to the season for Stoke, who sit three points adrift of safety in the Sky Bet Championship table.
The Potters’ defence has been far from impressive, conceding a staggering 29 goals so far – only Luton Town and Barnsley have shipped more goals.
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Butland has made a total of 10 appearances for the Potters this season, with Adam Federici being given his chance to shine under Nathan Jones, taking Butland out of the firing line.
In 10 games, Butland has conceded 21 goals and kept only one clean sheet – that’s an average of nearly two goals a game, which is a statistic that needs seriously improving.
He has pulled off 17 saves from 38 shots, but he will be desperate to keep more clean sheets if he does remain a Stoke player beyond January.
Playing out from the back was a key part of the way that Nathan Jones wanted his side to play, and Butland was a useful player in that philosophy, accruing a pass success rate of 92.1%.
His ability to command his box has been somewhat impressive, making 12 exits and dealing well with a host of dangerous set-pieces against Barnsley last time out.
He is clearly a very talented goalkeeper, but it’s all about confidence – a regular run of games under a new manager could do him the world of good.