Stoke City have completed the signing of England keeper Jack Butland accepted by Birmingham City.
The fee is believed to be around £3m ($4.67 million), with Butland returning to the Blues on loan until the end of the season. That agreement in the deal is understandable, given Butland’s desire to play first team football. By going on loan, he can gather experience and then push for the No. 1 spot at Stoke with a fresh start next season.
The 19-year-old has been linked with a wealth of clubs since his international rise last summer, but Tony Pulis‘ side has ended all discussion by agreeing a deal this evening.
He is reported to have turned down a chance to talk to Chelsea, with the firm belief his game time would be limited.
“I think it clicked quite early that Stoke’s plans ticked all the right boxes”
Butland’s agent had stated recently:
“He will listen to what any club that meets Birmingham’s asking price has to say, but playing is of paramount importance for Jack.”
The persona to get on with it, rather than talk, is something Butland has made evident in the past year, having closed his Twitter account, due to what he believed was unwarranted hype.
Butland’s rise to the heights of English football has been a rapid one; his England debut last August vs Italy, came after having only played club football for League 2 side, Cheltenham Town.
Having attracted vast amounts of attention on loan there, Butland was part of the England Euro 2012 squad, in an attempt to give him tournament experience, similar to that of Joe Hart during the World Cup in 2010.
Butland, one of England bright hopes for the future, was also Team GB‘s first choice keeper during the London 2012 Olympic games. Where his talent was truly beginning to shine.
Birmingham’s owners had admitted they would struggle to reject a serious bid this month, following recent financial worries.
But this fee is an absolute bargain. £3m for one of the upcoming goalkeepers in European football. He has been recalled for England’s friendly vs Brazil and is prepared for the future.
Question marks will now surround the long term future of Stoke’s current keeper Asmir Begovic.
By Stowe Gregory – @stowegregory