Stoke City have always been a team that relies on their defence, but the last line of defence has been somewhat shaky in the last couple of weeks.
Stoke’s Asmir Begovic, sustained a broken finger in training the day before Boxing day and was subsequently replaced by number two Thomas Sorenson, who is best known as having the best penalty saving record in The Premier League two years ago.
The Dane then saw Stoke concede eight goals in two games before he then felt a groin strain in Stoke’s 1-1 draw with Everton on New Years day, allowing England U21 Keeper Jack Butland to make his Stoke City debut.
The former Birmingham City player signed for Stoke in last year’s January transfer window and was subsequently sent out on loan because Stoke already had Begovic, Sorenson and Carlo Nash.
Nash left Stoke in the same window and Mark Hughes relied on two keepers for the first few months of the 2013/14 season but Butland was recalled from his loan-spell at Barnsley following Begovic’s injury and Under 21 keeper Daniel Bachmann was called up to the bench on Saturday for Stoke’s third round FA Cup tie with Leicester where Butland made his first start for Stoke and would have kept a clean sheet were it not for David Nugent’s late consolation.
The 20-year-old now looks like he is set to have a run of games in the Stoke side and hopefully earn himself an England call up with games against Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Chelsea on the horizon.