Statistics justify Liverpool and Everton's interest in Jack Butland

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Times are changing at Stoke City. Manager Mark Hughes has sought to sign some big names in recent times, attracting the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Bojan Krkic, with the Potters on course to challenge for a Europa League spot.

The highlight of the new era, though, is 22-year-old Jack Butland.

The goalkeeper was originally signed from Birmingham back in January 2013 but Hughes opted to loan the Englishman to the Championship until November 2014, making seven appearances for the Brittania side upon his return.


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Following the sale of Asmir Begovic to Chelsea over the summer, Butland has been given a chance to prove himself as a first choice Premier League keeper - and he's taken the opportunity with both hands.

Now, understandably, the England international is attracting attention from England's elite sides.

The Mirror claim Liverpool and Everton have made enquiries regarding a potential transfer for Butland, both of which were rejected by the club.

Reds legend Bruce Grobbelaar, currently coaching in Newfoundland, Canada, recently criticised Simon Mignolet for not being a well-round 'keeper and believes Jurgen Klopp will be looking for a new shot-stopper in January.

He said: "I’ve said that he is a goalkeeper who is a great shotstopper, but he is not the overall package.

"The overall package is good with your feet and coming out and commanding your area.

“I’ve got a goalkeeper in Canada, a 24-year-old, who does this better than Mignolet does and is just as good of a shotstopper. He is more of a package than Mignolet is.

“I think he (Klopp) is looking at it [buying a replacement for Mignolet]. There are a couple of goalkeepers in the German league that he is looking at so I can see that might be one of his first signings.”

Everton will likely be looking for a viable replacement to Tim Howard, with reports as per ESPN suggesting the American will retire when his current contract with the Toffees expires in 2018.

When compared to Mignolet and Howard with regards to numbers, Butland comes out on top of both Premier League stalwarts.

According to Squawka, the Englishman has pulled off 3.36 saves per goal this season, superior to that of Mignolet's 1.25 and Howard's 2.65. Only David de Gea and Petr Cech boast a better save-to-goals ration.

Elsewhere, Butland has made 47 saves, conceded 14 goals and kept six clean sheets. Howard has saved more than Butland (53), but conceded more goals (20) and kept just four clean sheets, where as Mignolet has recorded 20 saves, conceded 17 and kept five clean sheets.

It's little wonder, therefore, why Butland is attracting such interest when in the form that he is.

The 22-year-old deserves the attention he's garnering, there's no doubt about it, but a transfer away from Stoke may not be the best move for him.

Under Hughes, Butland is playing better than ever before and guaranteed game time, whereas at a bigger club, he would almost certainly face a fight for the number one spot.

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