James Pearce says he ‘had to laugh’ when he heard that Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland was linked with a move to Liverpool ahead of the EFL transfer deadline on Friday.
The reputable Liverpool journalist labelled the club’s reported interest in the former England international as ‘nonsensical’ after The Mirror touted the Premier League champions in making a late move for Butland.
Butland, 27, has yet to clock up a single appearance this season for the Championship outfit having fallen behind in the pecking order to Wales international Adam Davies.
Capped nine times for England, Butland has endured a drastic fall from grace in recent years that has seen him decline from one of the best-rated goalkeepers in the Premier League to a peripheral figure in English football’s second-tier.
The Mirror have credited Liverpool with an interest in Butland following Adrian’s performance during the shambolic 7-2 capitulation to Aston Villa earlier this month and the recent shoulder injury to FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year Alisson Becker.
Butland has clocked up 168 appearances during a seven-year period at the Bet 365 stadium but has just one year remaining on his Stoke contract which currently sees him as one of the club’s highest earners.
Pearce has since had his say in the matter and has totally played down any reported interest Liverpool have been suggested to have in Butland with The Athletic’s Liverpool correspondent claiming to rumours to be laughable.
Speaking on The Athletic’s Red Agenda podcast, he said: “There was always bound to be speculation because of the domestic window still being open. People put two and two together and get 17 and decide that Liverpool are definitely going to go out and sign another keeper.
“It would be one of the most un-Liverpool-like things imaginable for a club that prides itself on long-term thinking and not going down the route of knee jerk reactions.
“I had to laugh when I saw headlines about Jack Butland. You’re talking about a goalkeeper that can’t even get into Stoke City’s team, so the idea that Liverpool are suddenly going to spend money to bring him in is just totally nonsensical.”
What RTK has to say
Pearce is absolutely spot-on. Liverpool have never prided themselves on making reactive purchases in recent years. The Reds cannot be expected to splash out millions on a player who is very rarely going to even play.
The reality is that Liverpool had bigger priorities to address in the window this summer and the other thing you have to factor in is that even if Butland were to join, he would effectively be coming in to play second fiddle to the best goalkeeper in world football which effectively rules out any possibility of challenging for a regular starting role.
It’s not like most clubs where there is competition for places so that immediately reduces Liverpool’s options in terms of viable goalkeeping deputies.
There should be some sense of sympathy for Adrian who has had a rough time of it as let’s not forget, before that crushing encounter at Villa Park, the Spaniard had a 100 per cent record in the Premier League with Liverpool.