Jack Butland says England have a talented pool of goalkeepers – and the challenge now is to become its biggest fish.
Jordan Pickford , who starts for the Three Lions’ Under-21 team, is set for a £30million move to Everton from relegated Sunderland and Joe Hart is still senior-side No1, while his Manchester City team-mate Angus Gunn, Derby youngster Jonny Mitchell and Newcastle’s U20 World Cup final hero Freddie Woodman are all coming through.
Stoke’s Butland believes the competition will push them all on and in turn help the England team as it is at least one department where manager Gareth Southgate has strength in depth.
Butland said: “For years, we’ve had keepers criticised in England but we’ve got plenty coming through. Freddy (Woodman) has just won the U20 World Cup — the other U20s keepers Angus Gunn and Jonny Mitchell too.
“There always has been a lot of talent, the key thing for them is getting games. Jordan now has that with Everton, Angus on loan at Norwich and what Freddy does next season is important for him.
“it’s brilliant to see them doing well – I’ve experienced tournament wins with younger age groups and know how good it feels – it’s about carrying on.
“Hopefully they can do that. Bring on the competition, it’s good for me.”
He added: “Now the focus turns to staying fit, a good season with Stoke and the World Cup. That’s where I want to be: Representing my country at a World Cup… and I want to win.”