REGARDED by many as the finest young goalkeeper in the English game, Jack Butland will be eager to re-establish himself as Potters No. 1 this season following the heroics of last season’s Player of the Year Lee Grant.
The stopper, who became England's youngest ever senior ‘keeper against Italy at the age of 19 in 2012, enjoyed a stunning maiden top-flight campaign for the Potters in 2015/16.
Having served his apprenticeship at Birmingham City, and enjoyed loan spells with Barnsley, Leeds United and Derby County, Mark Hughes handed him the number one jersey following Asmir Begovic's departure from the bet365 Stadium in the summer of 2015.
He repaid his manager's faith in him by producing a quite stunning start to life in the Premier League, before seeing his campaign abruptly ended in March by injury.
It was a heart-breaking blow for the talented 23-year-old, who looked a cert for Roy Hodgson's England squad for Euro 2016, with many even tipping him to wrestle the Three Lions starting spot from Joe Hart.
Despite missing the remaining five games of the 2015/16 campaign, Butland picked up the Club’s Player and Players’ Player of the Season award for his star-studded performances.
He returned from injury in the summer of 2016, but was forced out of the Potters’ season opener with Middlesbrough after suffering a recurrence of the fractured ankle picked up just months earlier, an injury that forced him to miss out on the majority of the 2016/17 calendar.
The highly-rated goalkeeper made his eagerly awaited return in an away defeat against Swansea City in April 2017 and went on to start the remaining four games as the Potters ended the campaign in 13th place.