Aston Villa have already managed to sign Jota, Wesley and Anwar El Ghazi permanently this summer, but you would expect the newly-promoted side to continue strengthening their squad with the Premier League as fierce as ever.
Bearing that in mind, it is no surprise to see the club being linked with a move for Stoke City’s Jack Butland, though they face competition from Bournemouth, according to Sky Sports.
Should they manage to get a deal over the line, however, one ex-pro believes it would be quite some capture by Dean Smith. Take a look at his full verdict in this edition of our Pundit’s Choice feature.
“You need that sort of quality in those sort of areas. He [Butland] had a mixed season last year, teams have been after him, he’s an England international, he’d be a very good signing,” former Leeds United forward Noel Whelan told Football Insider.
“We do know that obviously that is an area until they brought Jed Steer back, where they were struggling in as well. To have Jack Butland at the club shows intent that yeah, they’re trying to strengthen that spine,” the BBC Radio Leeds pundit added.
“If they can get Jack Butland in, wow. Good signing, good goalkeeper, bags of experience, international quality.”
Indeed, it has been a mixed season for Butland. The 26-year-old was called up to England’s UEFA Nations League squad despite playing his football in the Championship last season for a Stoke City side who went on to finish in 16th.
Nevertheless, Butland is still a very good goalkeeper. His shot stopping, in particular, is pretty sharp, with WhoScored listing it as one of his strengths.
Having made most of his 229 appearances across the Premier League and Championship (as per Transfermarkt) as well, the England international has a lot of experience under his belt. Going into a campaign where you are likely to be in a relegation battle, that is exactly what you want your man between the sticks to have.
Ultimately, if Smith is looking to strengthen that goalkeeper position this summer, then Butland could be a solid option.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!