Why West Ham are right to revive their interest in Jack Butland
According to The Athletic, West Ham are set to go back in the market for the services of Stoke City shot-stopper Jack Butland, with the Potters prepared to lower their previous £20million valuation of the England international.
The Hammers had been linked with the 27-year-old (h/t Daily Mail) towards the end of 2019 prior to the January transfer window but were put off by Stoke City’s audacious asking price.
However, as per the report, the Championship outfit have reduced their demands, thus prompting West Ham to reignite their interest in Butland, who is believed to be keen to return to the English top-flight to boost his chances of playing for the national team.
West Ham’s current goalkeeping scenario
The report suggests that the Hammers are on the lookout for a quality shot-stopper to compete with No.1 Lukasz Fabianski, who endured an injury-stricken 2019-20 Premier League campaign at the London Stadium.
Roberto Jimenez, who was roped in on a free transfer last summer, was entrusted with the duty of replacing the injured Fabianski.
However, the Spaniard failed spectacularly and came under scrutiny for some basic errors between the sticks in games against Everton, Sheffield United, Newcastle United and Burnley before being shipped out on loan to Alaves in January. Third-choice goalkeeper David Martin also got a crack of the whip but wasn’t able to capitalise on his opportunities.
That paved the way for the club to re-sign Darren Randolph from Middlesbrough in January but the Irishman featured only twice in the Premier League last season under new manager David Moyes.
In fact, Fabianski himself struggled for consistency following his return from injury, with the Polish veteran’s save percentage dropping from 73% in 2018-19 to just 68% last term, according to Sofascore.
Why Butland would make a good addition
As things stand, West Ham need to sort out their ongoing problems in the goalkeeping department if they are to entertain hopes of breaking into the Premier League’s top ten under David Moyes next season.
Fabianski, though still a very capable No.1 for a club like West Ham, is already 35 while Randolph is 33, and Martin and Roberto are both 34. Hence, it’s pretty clear that the Hammers need to start searching for a new long-term first-choice goalkeeper and Jack Butland certainly fits the bill in that regard.
The 27-year-old racked up 77 appearances for Stoke City in the Premier League earlier in his career and while his form in the Championship hasn’t been all that great since the club’s relegation at the end of the 2017-18 season, Butland remains more than capable of stepping up to the challenge in the top-flight.
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Suffice to say, West Ham need to reshuffle their goalkeeping options heading into the upcoming campaign and someone like Butland would definitely push the ageing Fabianski for the No.1 role at the club.
Considering that Stoke City are prepared to sell him for a fee of under £20 million despite his status as an England international, West Ham would be foolish to let go of this golden opportunity