Stoke City: Why Jack Butland Signing Paves Way for Begovic Move This Summer

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 17: Jack Butland of Birmingham in action during the npower Championship match between Birmingham City and Hull City at St. Andrews on November 17, 2012 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Stoke City pulled off one of the steals of the January transfer window when they secured the signature of goalkeeper Jack Butland from Championship side Birmingham City. 

BBC Sport reported Thursday afternoon that Birmingham had accepted a bid from the Potters for the 19-year-old keeper.

Stoke beat out Chelsea for the signature of the future England first-choice keeper after Butland refused a move to Stamford Bridge earlier this week (via The Sun)

As a part of the deal, Butland will be sent back to the St. Andrew's Stadium on loan until the end of the season. 

With the transfer of Butland, the Potters have opened up plenty of speculation over the long-term future of current first-choice keeper Asmir Begovic. 

Begovic has been linked with moves to Manchester United and Chelsea over the past month and it looks like the 25-year-old could be set for a summer move to one of the big clubs in the EPL.

A potential summer move could be in the cards for Begovic because of a possible move by United keeper David De Gea to Barcelona.

Begovic has recorded nine clean sheets in the EPL this season with his last shutout coming on December 22 against Tottenham. 

If Begovic were to leave the Britannia Stadium over the summer, the Potters would be in need of a qualified replacement—they have found that in Butland. 

Butland has made 29 appearances for the Blues in the Championship this season and was the starting keeper for the Great Britain Olympic team this past summer. 

Butland has been tabbed as the next, great English keeper and has earned a call-up to the England squad to take on Brazil at Wembley Stadium next week. 

The 19-year-old has moved up through the international ranks since he debuted with the U-16 team back in 2008. 

Now, it looks like Butland will be the understudy to 25-year-old Manchester City keeper Joe Hart on the England depth chart. 

If he continues on his current track, Butland will undoubtedly become the next England first-choice keeper. 

The loan move back to Birmingham City will help Butland maintain first-team football for the rest of the season. 

The dilemma that faces Stoke before the beginning of next season is whether Butland or Begovic will be the first-choice keeper at the club. 

If Begovic does not move away from the Britannia Stadium over the summer, Butland could potentially be sent back out on loan to Birmingham City. 

However, it looks like the move for Butland was made in advance to prepare for the potential departure of their current first-choice keeper. 

While we will not know about the status of the goalkeeping situation at Stoke until the summer, expect plenty of attention to be focused on Stoke City when the summer transfer window opens. 

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