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Report: Stoke City’s 3.5m deal with Birmingham City remains a touch of genius



Premier League team Stoke City made the effort to acquire Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland, then 19 years old, in January 2013.

Though still a young player in the Championship, Butland had already represented Great Britain in international football in the Olympics and had made his Three Lions debut in the summer of 2012, making him a full England international.

The Bristol-born goalie was one of the top keepers in the nation, and the club made a very wise acquisition by spending just £3.5 million to acquire him. He would go on to have a successful few years at The Bet365 Stadium.

It was amazing that Stoke was able to sign Butland for such a low cost, especially considering that he was a full England international at the age of 19, and he more than fulfilled the expectations of the Potteries club throughout his seven years there.

Signing Jack Butland from Birmingham City was a masterstroke by Stoke City

Jack Butland at Birmingham City

Jack Butland had an exciting couple of years, and despite never having appeared in a first-team match for Birmingham City, his club, he was called up to the England squad for Euro 2012.

He did, however, get the opportunity to start as Birmingham’s first-choice goalkeeper for the 2012–13 campaign after making an impression for Team GB at the Olympics and doing well on loan at Chelsea Town.

It’s unbelievable to think that three days before Butland made his competitive debut for Birmingham City on August 15, 2012, he made his debut for England, demonstrating his exceptional skill.

Spurs attempted to recruit Butland permanently after just six months at St Andrew’s, but the terms of the contract included a one-year loan back to Blues.

Given the Potters’ difficulties, several players might be eager to leave the bet365 Stadium for various reasons.

Prior to the 2013–14 season, he signed with Stoke, but as Asmir Begovic and Thomas Sorensen were clearly first and second choices, he was sent to Barnsley and then spent time on loan at Leeds and Derby County.

Butland eventually earned the starting position for the 2015–16 campaign after Begovic departed the team to play for Chelsea, having bided his time. The youthful player made an impression, playing in 31 games and recording ten clean sheets, which helped the Potters finish in a very respectable ninth place.

Butland had a disappointing 2016–17 season after sustaining a terrible injury that sidelined him for a significant chunk of the play, though he recovered the following year.

The England international goalkeeper performed well in 35 league games despite Stoke’s relegation in 2017–18, although he was not able to maintain his six clean sheets.

Despite many predictions that the Potters would lose the Championship, they somehow held onto Butland.

In 45 league games in the 2018–19 season, he impressively kept 18 clean sheets. In 35 games in the 2019–20 season, he kept nine clean sheets.

He did, however, leave the team later that year after making his 168th and last game for the Potters in a 5-0 loss to Leeds United in July 2020.

Even though this wasn’t the best way for him to end his Stoke career, he will always be regarded as a fantastic purchase for a mere £3.5 million, and even when Stoke weren’t playing at their best, he was always a standout performer.

Stoke City may regret not cashing in on Jack Butland

Jack Butland at Stoke City

With his contract expiring the following summer, Jack Butland left for Premier League team Crystal Palace in 2020, reportedly only costing the Potters £500k.

This was a severe setback for the Potters, since in the summer of 2018, it was reported that Stoke wanted £70 million to release the keeper following their relegation to the Championship. In the summer of 2019, the club demanded £23 million for the goalkeeper.

It was definitely poor planning on the Potters’ part to lose out on such substantial sums of money, but even with Butland’s strong performances, it seemed improbable that a team would spend so much for him.

After spending a brief stint at Manchester United, the goalkeeper stayed at Crystal Palace until the summer of 2023. However, he was let go after making just 17 appearances for the Eagles.

Jack Butland’s career path
Club Season(s)
Birmingham City 2010-13
Cheltenham Town (Loan) 2011
Cheltenham Town (Loan) 2012
Stoke City 2013-20
Birmingham City (Loan) 2013
Barnsley (Loan) 2013
Leeds United (Loan) 2014
Derby County (Loan) 2014
Crystal Palace 2020-23
Manchester United (Loan) 2023
Rangers 2023 –

The former Stoke man moved north to join Scottish giants Rangers, and he’s thriving at Ibrox after making the number one shirt his own.

Whilst Butland hasn’t quite hit the heights after leaving Stoke, he’ll always be fondly remembered by the club for being an absolute bargain and an outstanding goalkeeper.



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