According to a recent report from Sky Sports, Crystal Palace are one of a few Premier League sides interested in Jack Butland. The England international may well have gone down with Stoke City last season but his stock rose ten-fold after a solid campaign between the sticks at the bet365 Stadium, to the point that he earned a spot as England’s number two in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the recent World Cup.
And Roy Hodgson’s Palace are reportedly keen on bringing the goalkeeper back to the Premier League, in what would be their most important move of the summer so far.
Ultimately, it has been a pretty quiet transfer window at Selhurst Park thus far with very little to report, although it does appear that the goalkeeping ranks could do with being bolstered ahead of the new season.
While Wayne Hennessey did a decent job last term, the Wales international hasn’t always convinced at Premier League level, to the point that Palace veteran Julian Speroni did occasionally deputise for the 31-year-old last time round.
But with he at the age of 39, Hodgson surely cannot rely on him to make the difference this term, and having seen exactly how good the likes of Butland, Jordan Pickford, and Matthew Ryan were last season, a dependable goalkeeper can earn one’s side a few more places in the league – of which Butland is certainly one.
The 25-year-old has been at Stoke since 2013 but only in recent seasons has he earned the number one jersey, with the Englishman appearing in 35 of their 38 Premier League games last term, keeping six clean sheets in the process.
Yes, Stoke’s woeful defensive record is unlikely to do Butland any favours, but based on his efforts over the course of the campaign, alongside the fact that he was very much in the running to be England’s number one at the World Cup, it’s clear that the Potters would have been relegated a lot sooner were it not for his exploits.
And that must be of keen interest to Hodgson and indeed the Palace hierarchy, as the shot-stopping ranks do appear in need of strengthening heading into the 2018/19 season, especially if the Eagles are seeking to improve upon their 11th place finish last time round.
And with Butland one man reportedly on their radar, it’s a deal they simply have to strike, in what would be their most important move of the summer so far.
Palace fans… what do you think? Let us know!