Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has insisted on-form goalkeeper Jack Butland will not be leaving the club anytime soon.
The 22-year-old has been in impressive form this season after being appointed Stoke's first-choice goalkeeper following the departure of Asmir Begovic. Butland's solid consistency has resulted in the Potters keeping five clean sheets already this season, two shy of his predecessor's seven clean sheets for all of last season.
The Bristol-born shot-stopper has been receiving high praise and interest from other clubs is increasing as a result. Hughes however, has ensured fans that Butland will remain at Stoke for the foreseeable future.
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"Jack's going nowhere, he's progressing well but he's very early into his career development as a No 1 keeper. People are aware of him- and they have been for a long time," Hughes told Sky Sports.
Butland began his career with Birmingham City, signing his first professional contract in 2010 at the tender age of 17. The young goalkeeper's potential was spotted at an early age and Butland made his England Under-21's debut while still only 18-years-old.
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The towering custodian enjoyed two loans spells with Cheltenham Town in 2011 and 2012 where he became first choice and gained the vital first team football required to make his Birmingham debut.
Stoke won the race for the promising talent after paying £3.5 million for Butland's services. Whereas the temptation of Premier League football lured Butland to Stoke, the reality was quite the opposite. He endured three loan spells in two years with various Championship clubs as he struggled to displace Begovic as Stoke's number one goalkeeper.
This season, though, Butland has been given the opportunity to shine and he has taken it. He is now firmly Stoke's first choice keeper and second to Joe Hart for England's goalkeeping jersey.
Amidst interest from bigger Premier League clubs, Stoke boss Hughes wants to keep Butland's feet on the ground and believes the Britannia is the best place for his development.
"He needs a season-in-season-out of week-in-week-out in the Premier League. He's had a great career progression, every step he has taken he has dealt with. Now it's about consolidating himself in a very good Premier League team. That's the challenge for him," Hughes said.
Butland should recall his departure from Birmingham City - where his development was blighted by a lack of consistent first-team football - before considering a move away.
He is performing well at Stoke City and should revel the praise and interest he his getting. Concentrating on his performances and development at Stoke may well benefit his career in the long run and perhaps even allow him to challenge Hart as England's first choice goalkeeper.
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