Stoke City manager Mark Hughes believes Jack Butland has a long career ahead of him for both club and country.
Butland replaced the departed Asmir Begovic as first-choice goalkeeper at the Britannia Stadium this season, and was rewarded for his fine form with his second England cap in the 3-0 victory over Lithuania.
The 22-year-old has had to bide his time for an opportunity since joining the club in 2013, spending time on loan at Birmingham City, Barnsley, Leeds United and Derby County.
“He is an outstanding young goalkeeper and everybody has recognised that,” Hughes said.
“He has been a number one at clubs at a lower level but hadn’t been a main number one at Premier League level up until this point.
“He has taken that in his stride, though, like he has done with almost every step up that he has made throughout his still very young career. We all feel he has a long, long career – both with us and England.”
Butland has made 125 appearances in his career so far, and former Manchester City boss Hughes believes this has helped the goalkeeper develop a maturity beyond his years.
“Sometimes young goalkeepers can be a little bit frenetic, but his calmness, which is part of the maturity he shows in his personality, helps him,” he added,
“He has a lot of, if not every one of, the attributes you need as a goalkeeper to have a good career. We feel sure he will continue to progress in the same manner.
“We weren’t sure in the summer whether we could keep Asmir Begovic, and I think if Asmir had stayed, we probably would have looked to get Jack out on loan for another 12 months to help his development.
“But, as it was, when it became clear Asmir was leaving, I had no qualms whatsoever about making Jack my number one because he is that good.”
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