Newly promoted Premier League outfit Aston Villa are interested to lure Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland to the Villa Park this summer to beef up their goalkeeping options.
It has been claimed by the Birmingham Mail that the Villans are all set to make a bid for Butland. The custodian is apparently looking to leave bet365 Stadium and has therefore drawn attention from Aston Villa along with a number of clubs.
Butland is unarguably one of the prized assets on the books of the Potters but Dean Smith’s camp is ready to test their resolve with a sizeable bid. It would be hard for Stoke City to keep the English international after having failed to earn promotion once again.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace are also reportedly monitoring Butland. It is expected that Stoke would demand in excess of £20million for striking him off their books.
Jack Butland: Profile
Butland emerged through the youth ranks of Birmingham City and steadily paved his way into their senior side. While he was on their books, he served two loan spells at Cheltenham Town and eventually moved to Stoke City in the January transfer window of 2013.
Loan spells with Barnsley, Leeds United and Derby County followed after that. He cemented his place in the starting line up of Stoke City after the sale of Asmir Begovic during the 2015-16 season and has been one of the most consistent performers for them ever since.
Although Stoke City struggled in the Championship last season and ended up in the sixteenth spot, Butland impressed. He kept 18 clean sheets, which was the third best in the English second division and managed to make 2.8 saves per game on an average.
Why Aston Villa must sign him
Aston Villa do have the financial muscle to sign Butland owing to their wealthy owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens and the prize money they received from promotion to the top flight. He is a proven shot-stopper and would enhance the quality of their goalkeeping position.
Butland was all set to take the first-choice goalkeeping role from Joe Hart for the World Cup last year but his injury allowed Jordan Pickford to get into the scheme of things. As of now, he is Pickford’s back-up but he would want to keep knocking on Gareth Southgate’s door with impressive displays in the Premier League.
The 26-year-old is an excellent shot-stopper and his experience in the top-flight will be a huge positive for the newly promoted side. Villa will understand the importance of having a solid defence in order to survive and Butland, with his leadership skills and hunger to have a consistent run in the Premier League will be a solid option. A mention for Jed Steer though who fared well between the sticks for the Claret and the Blues last term but Villa’s interest in Butland is completely justifiable.