England debut finally vindicates Jack Butland's decision to spurn Chelsea and Manchester City for Stoke

An impressive competitive England debut for goalkeeper Jack Butland has finally vindicated his decision to spurn the likes of Chelsea for Stoke City.

The former Birmingham City 'keeper had very little to do in his first competitive match as England cruised to a routine 3-0 win over Lithuania on Monday night.

But when he was called upon he showed that he was focused and can maintain concentration despite not being occupied for long periods.

The 22-year-old did pull off a fine one-handed save to palm away a deflected effort in the first half and has proved he is an able deputy for number one Joe Hart.

It was not the only thing Butland proved, though. He was also vindicated in spurning the advances of Chelsea and Manchester City in favour of a move to the Potteries back in 2013.

Butland's forward planning

According to the man himself in an interview with the The Times on signing for Stoke two and a half years ago, opting for a team like Chelsea would have hampered his career progression.

Butland said: "I had the chance to speak to Chelsea but I didn’t feel like I needed to.

"It’s a fantastic club and it would be a great honour to play for them at some stage.

"But I’ve got a chance to join a club where I feel I can better develop my game and take it to the next level, which I didn’t feel at some of the other clubs I rejected.

"I turned Manchester City down (the year before). Again I was flattered but Joe Hart is their undisputed No 1 and he was a main factor."

Finally vindicated

It was a refreshing approach for a young English player in a time when so many up and coming young stars end up leaving the sides  where they are learning their trade for mega deals on offer at clubs like Manchester City.

While it may have taken Asmir Begovic's move to Chelsea this summer to finally offer Butland the chance to cement the Stoke number one spot, he has taken it with both hands.

Number one goalkeeper of an established Premier League club by 22-years-old is some achievement and shows Butland was right to turn down more glamorous offers.

That has only been further reinforced now he has made the step up to international level too with a place in the England squad for a first major tournament beckoning next summer.

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