Gareth Southgate has admitted Jack Butland is being lined up to become England’s new No1 keeper, writes John Cross in Paris.
Southgate will start Tuesday night’s friendly with Burnley keeper Tom Heaton but says Butland will come on at half time and has the potential to succeed Joe Hart.
England boss Southgate said: “Jack is coming back off a long lay off and was No2 before that. He hasn’t had the amount of game time up to now, but we think he could also challenge for the No1 slot moving forward.
“Jack is a goalkeeper of high potential. I worked with him at U21s level and I went to an U20s World Cup with him and a Euros U21s. I know his mentality and the strength he has.”
Southgate indicated that Heaton will start the game as reward for always reporting up for England and being a loyal squad member while also admitting it is a huge blow for Fraser Forster who is will not be involved
Southgate added: “Tom has had an outstanding season and we have got to maintain the squad environment and make sure people feel involved.
“I’ve spoken to Fraser and of course he’s disappointed. More so for him because I know he’s travelled quite a bit and not had the number of matches he’d have liked. It’s very difficult.”