Stick or twist? Big decision awaits Derby loanee Jack Butland

Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland has an important decision to make on his future, with Derby County eager to extend his loan spell amid Orlando City talk.

Stoke, Derby or Orlando? That is the choice reported to be facing Jack Butland.

The 21-year-old goalkeeper is contracted to the Potters, is currently on loan at the Rams and is said to be attracting interest from the MLS.

All very confusing, but this is an important crossroads in the career of a man strongly tipped to inherit the England number one jersey from Manchester City’s Joe Hart.

Butland is already captain of the under-21 side and made his senior debut back in 2012.

Progress from that point has been slow, though, with Premier League opportunities denied him at Stoke due to the fierce competition for places provided by established stars such as Asmir Begovic and Thomas Sorensen.

Loan spells have been sought in an effort to get much-needed game time, with Barnsley, Leeds United and Derby offering Butland a Championship stage on which to perform.

He currently tops the second tier standings at the iPro Stadium, but a 28-day loan is due to expire during the international break.

  SavesPunchesTotal High ClaimAccurate Goal KicksAppearancesMins Played
Jack Butland 16 4 4 37 5 450

Derby hope the youngster can be persuaded to remain part of their plans, even with Lee Grant closing on a return to action following an ankle sprain.

Rams coach Paul Simpson told the Derby Telegraph: “I know there have been discussions about it. We’re going to wait and see how Lee progresses.

“I think it’s a discussion the manager (Steve McClaren) will have to have with Stoke City to see what they’re thinking.

“I think Jack has got stronger as the month has gone on, as he’s got more games under his belt. Hopefully, if needed, then we’re able to do something.”

There is every chance that Derby will be able to agree an extension through to January, but that may be as far as they get.

If reports of interest from America are to be believed, then Butland will soon be offered the opportunity to line up alongside Brazilian superstar Kaka.

Orlando City are preparing to make their MLS bow in 2015 and are eager to bring as much experience onto their books as possible – and a shot-stopper of Butland’s undoubted ability would be a welcome addition as they seek to make headlines on and off the field.

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