Stoke star urged to seek move away by ex-England defender

Harry McMullen

Ex-England defender Danny Mills has urged Stoke City stopper Jack Butland to consider leaving the club in the January transfer window, amid huge interest from Premier League clubs. 

Butland has been heavily linked with a move down south following growing interest from Aston Villa, Bournemouth and West Ham.

Mills believes the former England keeper must move soon in order to revitalise his dwindling career.

Butland has not been in the best of form in the Championship this season – only keeping three clean sheets in 15 appearances.

The Stoke keeper was completely left out of Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 qualifying squad due a lack of form.

Mills believes Butland still has all the attributes to be a top class keeper.

He told Football Insider: “He’s certainly available isn’t he, he’s a solid keeper.

“He was England’s No.1 at one point, he’s a big physical presence, he has made some high-profile mistakes hence why he has slipped away from the England scene and down into the Stoke scene.

Mills also explained that sometimes a change of scenery can make a world of difference.

“Of course, he is undoubtedly a solid goalkeeper and sometimes you just need a change just because it resets you.

“It resets your confidence, it resets your belief in yourself.

“Suddenly you have different surroundings, different regime and overnight you rediscover your form.”

The 26-year-old joined the Potters back in 2013 from Birmingham City for a fee of £3.42m – cementing his place as first choice keeper the next season.

Butland’s impressive form in Stoke’s Premier Leagues years saw him called up to the England squad, picking up nine caps and travelling to Euro 2012 and the World Cup 2018 as a second choice keeper.

On Thursday, Stoke boss Michael O’Neill called off a pre-match press conference ahead of City’s trip to Middlesbrough, adding a heap of speculation on Stoke’s January window.