The goalkeeper is one of the most important positions on a football pitch. Having a high-quality keeper gives a defence an insurance policy and at times, they can be the difference between 0 or 3 points.
Petr Cech’s performances in recent games have only further highlighted that Arsenal needs a new goalkeeper. The 35-year-old has repeatedly shown that he can no longer excel at the top level. He’s cost Arsenal severally and if the Gunners are to ever challenge for the title again, they need a completely new spine. In addition to a GK, Arsenal needs two centre-backs and a defensive midfielder. At least Arsenal have reportedly started to make moves on that mission by identifying Stoke City’s Jack Butland as a summer priority. It’s unclear at this moment whether the Gunners have more names on that list.
Reports suggest that Arsenal will have stiff competition from Liverpool for the 24-year-old’s signature. The Sun believes that the transfer will cost either Arsenal or Liverpool a £40million transfer kitty. Liverpool is well known to have major goalkeeping issues too as both Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius have failed to hold down the no.1 spot at Anfield. So, alongside Arsène Wenger, Jürgen Klopp has made Jack Butland a top priority in the summer window.
Jack Butland has been a highly-touted prospect for many seasons now, being linked with nearly every top club over the past few windows. However, in the past, injuries have hampered his career progression but now that he’s back to full fitness, we should be seeing him at a top-six club in the near future.
For Jack Butland, he should consider his future carefully. Arsenal may or may not be able to offer Champions League football next season whilst it’s a guarantee that Liverpool will. At both clubs, he would undisputedly become the #1 keeper, so from that point of view, playing time won’t be an issue. The final decision may all just come down to what style of coaching the Englishman prefers; does he like Arsène Wenger’s fatherly laissez-faire attitude or does he want Jürgen Klopp’s brotherly love thehigh-octanestyle of play. Either would be an upgrade on Stoke’s dire style of play at the moment.
Stoke City have been struggling immensely this season, they currently sit 19th in the league having only won 6 games. In the process, they’ve conceded 53 goals and boast a -26-goal difference. In Jack Butland’s defence, he’s performed at a high level. He’s made an average of 2.79 saves per game, claimed 92% of crosses into his box and kept 4 clean sheets in 24 league games. It’s arguable as to whether Jack Butland is too good for Stoke City, but what’s for sure is, he doesn’t deserve to be playing in the Championship next season.