This article is part of Football League World’s ‘What does the future hold?’ series, this content strand is where we evaluate and subjectively debate a player’s future at their current club…
After being strongly linked with a move away from the Bet365 Stadium for pretty much the entirety of the campaign so far, Jack Butland’s future at Stoke City is seemingly shrouded in doubt after what has been a difficult season for the goalkeeper.
Entering his seventh season with the Stoke-on-Trent club, it was clear from the outset of the summer transfer window that Butland was keen to make a move away from the Championship in order to enhance his chances of making the England squad on a more consistent basis.
The strongest interest in the 27-year-old stopper which came his way during the window was from newly promoted Aston Villa, with the Midlands club offering an escape route that wouldn’t have meant Butland would have to move too far from his home in and around said area of the country.
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It is easy to see why Dean Smith’s side held such a desire to secure the keeper’s services, with the 27-year-old possessing brilliant experience at both Premier League and Championship level after turning out across the two tiers on a total of 233 occasions over the years.
Unfortunately for Villa, the Potters would not be moved on their stance on the player’s future and as a result Butland was forced to remain at the Bet365 Stadium for another season.
Since seeing his proposed move away from the club fail to come to fruition, Butland has seen his form dip and spike in equal measure, with the first few weeks of the campaign being error prone in comparison to present day where he appears to be a much more commanding presence.
With only one year remaining on his current deal with the Potters, it seems likely that Butland will indeed depart this summer, with the postponement of Euro 2020 until 2021 perhaps offering the experienced shot stopper another chance of adding to his nine caps for England.