When Jack Butland agreed to join Stoke City in January before going back on loan to Birmingham for the rest of the season he will surely have hoped to claim the number one jersey at the Britannia this summer.
Central to that was the likely departure of Asmir Begovic, whose stellar season had led to links with Liverpool and Arsenal.
However Stoke’s prohibitive price-tag saw Liverpool opt for Simon Mignolet and Arsenal take Palermo’s Emiliano Viviano on loan, with Begovic staying at the Britannia.
This was good news for most at the club, but Butland now faces the prospect of a season where he has little chance of playing first-team football.
In fact he has so far been third choice at Stoke, with Thomas Sorenson deputising for Begovic and starting ahead of Butland in the Capital One Cup.
Butland’s frustration will have been magnified by the current discussions about the dearth of keeper’s available to Roy Hodgson in light of Joe Hart’s recent blunders.
The 20-year-old already has a full England cap, and has a chance of making the squad for next summer’s World Cup should England qualify.
However he will need to move to find regular first-team football if he is to convince Hodgson that he should be on the flight to Brazil, and with the summer window shut, that will mean a loan spell either in the Championship or abroad.
Sheffield Wednesday have been linked with a move for Butland, although the youngster would have to fight it out with another keeper with one England cap – Chris Kirkland – for starts at the Owls.
Sporting Lisbon are also apparently interested in Butland, who has said he would be willing to go on loan to push for an England place.
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