Butland: Stoke was the right move
Jack Butland admits seeing other players lose their way helped in his decision to turn down Chelsea in favour of Stoke.
The highly-rated Birmingham goalkeeper has enjoyed an incredible year, going from a loan spell at npower League Two side Cheltenham to earning his first cap for the England senior team. The 20-year-old also represented Great Britain at London 2012 and impressed a number of top clubs, including Champions League holders Chelsea.
Butland, though, rejected the west Londoners overtures in favour of a move to Stoke, who he will link up with after ending the season with Birmingham. Asked if it was a difficult decision to make, the youngster said: "It was and it wasn't. Chelsea is a fantastic club, it would attract any player and it certainly attracted me."
He added: "It is a fantastic place to play and they are the current Champions League winners. They are the European champions.
"But Stoke are a fantastic club for different reasons and somewhere I feel I can better develop my game at the minute. It is as simple as that.
"Chelsea didn't do anything wrong, I just didn't feel it was the right move for me and felt Stoke was.
"It was a very, very important decision to make about when and where to move. It took a lot of thinking and unfortunately Birmingham were in the position they were.
"I have been there for a long time, learned a lot there. I've had my spells in League Two and my taste of the Championship - but I feel that if I really want to push Joe Hart and the senior keepers for the senior spot then I need to be playing Premier League football.
"I feel capable of doing it and feel capable of doing it with Stoke. It is a very good set-up there.
"The goalie coach is very good and I am very pleased I've made that move and at this time. I am really at ease with the decision and really looking forward to it."