Belfast Telegraph

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes confident of holding on to Jack Butland

By Phil Medlicott

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is sure that goalkeeper Jack Butland will remain with the club long-term while continuing to progress at international level.

Butland, who will start against Swansea tonight, has put in a string of impressive performances for the Potters this season and won his second senior England cap earlier this week.

The 22-year-old is making the most of the chance to establish himself as a first-choice Premier League stopper which came following Asmir Begovic's switch to Chelsea over the summer.

Hughes regards Butland as something of a complete goalkeeping package in the making destined for a lengthy England career, and is well aware the player is widely admired.

But he has also expressed his belief the ex-Birmingham man - who in March signed a new deal with Stoke through to 2019 - will not be following Begovic's lead in moving on to a more high-profile club any time soon.

"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 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. His quality of performance is high at the moment and he deserved to (win his second England cap).

"We all feel he has a long, long career (ahead of him) - both with us and England."

Striker Mame Diouf will not be involved tonight having been granted compassionate leave following the death of his mother, but Marc Wilson (calf) is fit, as is Xherdan Shaqiri (thigh).

Belfast Telegraph


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