Butland: Chelsea wasn't right
Jack Butland admits seeing other players lose their way helped in his decision to turn down Chelsea in favour of Stoke. The highly-rated Birmingham goalkeeper has enjoyed an incredible year, going from a loan spell at League Two side Cheltenham to earning his first cap for the England senior team. The 20-year-old also represented Great Britain at London 2012 and impressed a number of top clubs, including Champions League holders Chelsea. Butland, though, rejected the west Londoners overtures in favour of a move to Stoke, who he will link up with after ending the season with Birmingham. Asked if it was a difficult decision to make, the goalkeeper said: "It was and it wasn't. Chelsea is a fantastic club, it would attract any player and it certainly attracted me. "It is a fantastic place to play and they are the current Champions League winners. They are the European champions. "But Stoke are a fantastic club for different reasons and somewhere I feel I can better develop my game at the minute. It is as simple as that. "Chelsea didn't do anything wrong, I just didn't feel it was the right move for me and felt Stoke was. "It was a very, very important decision to make about when and where to move. "It took a lot of thinking and unfortunately Birmingham were in the position they were. "I have been there for a long time, learned a lot there. I've had my spells in League Two and my taste of the Championship - but I feel that if I really want to push Joe Hart and the senior keepers for the senior spot that I need to be playing Premier League football. "I feel capable of doing it and feel capable of doing it with Stoke. It is a very good set-up there. "The goalie coach is very good and I am very pleased I've made that move and at this time. I am really at ease with the decision and really looking forward to it." Butland's immediate attention is on keeping Birmingham in the Championship and impressing with England Under-21s. The Bristol-born goalkeeper will likely start for them against Austria on Monday and, rather than be annoyed at missing out on the senior squad, remains philosophical. He continued: "I have seen a lot of people get carried away. My mum and dad would be the first people to take me down if ever that happened. "I know myself that it will not get me anywhere, it is not good for my career and teams if you're arrogant, if you're different to everyone else. "Everyone that gets to the top is very switched on, intelligent and very humble, professional people. "To be the best, you've got to act like the best." And for Butland, there is no better player to look up to than Manchester City and England number one Joe Hart. "I have been fortunate enough to train with him at Birmingham and obviously with the England set-up as well," Butland added. "I can only really look up to what he is doing because he is a fantastic role model to all young players, not just goalkeepers. "He is very well spoken, very careful about what he says and he is a role model to a lot of people."
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