While Jack Butland has always been an undeniably supremely talented goalkeeper with a great deal of potential, it was not really until this season that he has cemented himself in people’s minds as a genuine challenger to Joe Hart’s immediate status as England number one. Butland will be distraught at how his chance to shine against Germany came to a premature end, but this is merely a minor blemish on a superb campaign. Ever since the very first week of the campaign, Butland has been in flying form and was repeatedly the scourge of many an opposition’s forward line.
Mark Hughes’ side initially struggled to create chances and score goals in the early months; something which changed significantly when employing the current Arnautovic-Bojan-Shaqiri axis, and it was only Jack Butland’s superb displays between the sticks which prevented The Potters from losing match after match. Since that point, he has continued to be an integral member of a side that performed much better as a unit and is rapidly starting to develop an aura in goal; similar to David De Gea last year, that allows him to dominate one-on-one situations and place doubt in the minds of the attackers.
At the time of writing, Jack Butland has made the most saves of anyone in the Premier League this term and were it to be taken on simply current form alone; and fitness permitting, I genuinely believe that he would be starting for Roy Hodgson’s England at Euro 2016. Given Butland’s ankle injury suffered during England’s eventual triumph in Germany, it is a certainty that Hart will be England’s number one at the tournament; assuming he recovers from his own knock, but should Stoke’s chief shot-stopper enjoy another season as successful as this one next time around, then it may only be a matter of time before Hart is usurped.