According to a recent report from Sky Sports, interest appears to be mounting in Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland. The future of the England international has been subject of speculation throughout the summer following the Potters’ relegation from the Premier League last season, with Chelsea now reportedly eyeing up a move for the 25-year-old should current Blues number one Thibaut Courtois indeed leave the club this summer.
And while losing the £19.8 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) may appear to be a disaster for Gary Rowett’s side, it may not actually be the end of the world if Butland exits the bet365 Stadium before the August 9 deadline.
Ultimately, the 25-year-old deserves credit for a reasonably solid season between the sticks at the Staffordshire-based outfit last time round, with it arguable that Stoke would have been relegated a whole lot sooner were it not for the Englishman’s efforts.
As such, Butland would likely play a key part in helping Rowett’s side return to the top-flight at the first time of asking this season, but for a reported £30 million, alongside the fact that they have Adam Federici in reserve, his departure may not be as badly felt as first thought.
Australia international Federici may not have played a huge amount of football following testing spells at AFC Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest, but there is no doubting his capabilities at Championship level having previously produced the goods at Reading.
The 33-year-old helped the Royals reach the play-off final back in 2011 in keeping nine clean sheets in 36 Championship appearances, before backing that up magnificently by appearing in all 46 games the season after as the Berkshire outfit won the title, keeping 20 clean sheets along the way.
Thus, Rowett certainly has a more than able deputy from which to call upon were Butland to leave this summer – add in the Englishman’s error at the weekend in their 3-1 defeat to Leeds United, and £30 million appears to be a decent sum of money.
Yes, the 25-year-old is a better goalkeeper than Federici and looks set for a bright future for both club and indeed country, but losing the Englishman, were he to indeed move to Chelsea this summer, may not actually be the end of the world for Rowett and his side in their bid to return to the Premier League this season.
Stoke fans… what do you think? Let us know!