According to the latest reports from Daily Mail, Aston Villa are emerging as the favourites to sign Jack Butland from Stoke City this summer. The Villans have already brilliantly kickstarted their transfer business by securing the signature of highly rated Brazilian striker Wesley Moraes.
Stoke meanwhile are reportedly demanding £23m for Butland and Bournemouth are also said to be interested along with Villa. The newly promoted side is expected to launch a bid soon for the English custodian. Butland had also indicated that he is willing to move away from Stoke and it is not surprising to see him being linked with a Premier League move.
Dean Smith is looking for improvements to his squad as he tries to establish the Villans in the English top flight. Butland has been involved in England’s national team set up as well as he has been the backup to Everton’s Jordan Pickford. However, given the fact that he has been in the Championship for a year now, we feel that he hasn’t helped his chances of dislodging Pickford from the no. 1 spot.
It is crucial for English players to play in the Premier League if they are looking to make an impression in the national team. It is no surprise to see someone of Butland’s quality moving away from Stoke as they were nowhere near challenging for the playoff spots last season.
Does Aston Villa need a goalkeeper?
Jed Steer performed exceedingly well for the club in the second half of the last season as he put in some heroic performances. Orjan Nyland is another option which Smith can consider, but it seems like he wants an upgrade over the two main goalkeepers he has as he is willing to spend over £20m for Butland.
Lovre Kalinic was signed with a lot of gung ho, but he has been disappointing, to say the least so far. So even though the club has three options, Smith seems to want an upgrade.
Will Butland be an upgrade over Steer?
Given his reputation, credibility and experience in the Premier League, Butland would be an upgrade over Steer. However, Steer would feel hard done by if he isn’t given first team chances for the next season. The main question here is whether Butland is an upgrade over Steer worth paying £20m for as Steer has done quite well. The manager certainly seems to think so. However, we are a little bit undecided, but it wouldn’t be a bad move if Aston Villa ends up signing Butland, who is a proven quantity in the top flight.