Banks: It’s close between Butland and Hart

Dave Bowers

World Cup winner Gordon Banks says Jack Butland has a chance of being England’s number one for Euro 2016.

Butland has produced a number of excellent performances for Stoke this season and is expected to be named in Roy Hodgson’s squad for next summer’s tournament – alongside Man City keeper Joe Hart.

In 2012, a 19-year-old Butland became England’s youngest goalkeeper in the 2-1 friendly win over Italy, and he added to his caps tally with appearances against Lithuania and France last year.

Hart has 57 international caps and was a key figure in England’s qualifying campaign, but Banks believes Butland is ‘putting pressure’ on the City stopper.

“He’s done really, really well and I can’t believe how quickly he’s coming through, I really can’t,” Banks told The FA.

“He was playing for the Under-21s last season and all of a sudden he’s playing for Stoke and as soon as I saw him, I thought, this lad’s going to be challenging.”

“I met him for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I said to him: ‘Jack, to be honest, watching you play and how well you’re doing, you must be doing what I did and getting a lot of practice with a lot of shooting at you.

“He’s put the pressure on Joe Hart without any question,” added Banks.

“It’s definitely pretty close between him and Joe now and I was a tiny bit disappointed that Jack didn’t play once we’d got through to the Finals.

“That would have given him that little bit of experience which you need but it’s wonderful to see him doing so well.”