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Butland set to battle Begovic

Jack Butland aims to impress Stoke boss Mark Hughes enough to replace Asmir Begovic as the Potters' first-choice goalkeeper.

Last Updated: 16/07/13 at 10:17 Post Comment

Jack Butland: Aiming to become a Premier League regular

Jack Butland: Aiming to become a Premier League regular

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The highly-rated Butland was signed from Birmingham in January 2013 when previous manager Tony Pulis was still in charge, but the 20-year-old was immediately loaned back to Birmingham for the rest of the season.

Begovic has been Stoke's number-one stopper for much of the last three years, but was thought to have interested Liverpool prior to their signing of Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet.

But having started last season by winning his first senior England cap, in a friendly against Italy, Butland wants to begin this campaign by claiming a regular place in Hughes' starting line-up.

"That's the aim," the 20-year-old told Stoke's official club website. "I know that won't be easy because Asmir is a top, top goalkeeper and has done really well for Stoke City in the past but I'm excited about the challenge.

"I'm settling in very well. I came in a few times in the second half of the season which helped me get to know the lads and made it a bit easier when we reported back. I'm getting on with the lads and enjoying the training."

The former Cheltenham player is also keen to put England Under-21s' disappointing European U21 Championship firmly behind him, having played in two of the three defeats that sent Stuart Pearce's side home from Israel after the group stage.

Butland added: "You always have an opportunity in football to put things right pretty quickly and that's what I can do this season, which I'm really looking forward to doing."

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think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

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e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

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n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

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