This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Stoke City manager Nathan Jones has a task on his hands after back-to-back defeats in the Championship sees the Potters in 23rd spot in the league.
One of the features of these opening defeats has been goalkeeper Jack Butland who has the number one shirt despite being strongly linked with a move away from the bet365 Stadium in the summer, amid interest from Bournemouth and Aston Villa, who were eventually put off by Butland’s £30m valuation.
However, it’s fair to say it’s been a somewhat shaky start from the English goalkeeper who has made a handful of mistakes in Stoke’s disappointing start to the new season, with boss Nathan Jones suggesting the speculation is affecting him.
So will Stoke regret not letting Butland leave in the summer for big money after his somewhat shaky start in the league?
“In some ways yes and in some ways no.
“I do think that the fact they have missed out on a significant payout is obviously going to be a disappointment for them, and with that difficult start to the season Butland has experienced, you can’t see many clubs coming up with those sorts of funds to sign him in January or beyond.
“That being said, the old saying ‘form is temporary, class is permanent’ is one that Butland has demonstrated plenty of times before, and even with that poor start to the season, the Potters do still have a very good goalkeeper on their hands.
“It is also worth noting that even if Butland does not return to top form soon, Stoke have a more than reliable back up goalkeeper to take his place between the posts in the form of summer signing Adam Davies.”
“I think it was a big mistake at the time as well as now.
“If the rumours of them being offered around £20million for his services were true then the Potters were frankly mad to turn that down.
“In Adam Davies they have a completely adequate replacement so why bother hanging onto Butland? If he continues to perform as poorly his value is only going to drop.
“However, the former Birmingham man is still a very good goalkeeper and, whilst he is still at the club, his presence in the side cannot be disputed.”
“Not cashing in on Jack Butland this summer could turn out to be a grave error by Stoke City who have experienced a woeful start to the Championship campaign.
“Whereas only Darren Randolph and Dean Henderson were able to better the 26-year-old’s total of 18 clean sheets last season, he has been far from convincing this year for the Potters.
“Directly at fault for goals against Queens Park Rangers and Charlton Athletic, Butland’s spot in Nathan Jones’ starting eleven may soon become untenable with the Adam Federici and Adam Davies both eyeing up the England international’s position.
“If Butland’s form continues to spiral, it may be wise for Stoke to consider selling him in January as this particular transfer window represents one of the final chances for the club to secure a significant sum of money for the keeper before he enters the final year of his deal at the bet365 Stadium.”