Speaking before Arsenal’s game at Stoke on Sunday, Jack Butland admitted that he’s eyeing up Petr Cech’s cleansheet record.
The youngster, who came close to claiming the man of the match award against the Gunners at the Britannia only to see it handed to his opposite number, was speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily Star before the game.
“I would love to beat it! I’m a long way off that and I’d have to put up a pretty good average of clean sheets for that,” the 22-year-old told Paul Brown.
“But it’s something that all keepers want to do, keep clean sheets, and hopefully I’ll get close one day. He’s still playing extremely well though so I’m sure he’ll add a few more to that.
“To a certain extent I’ve watched him and studied his game. I‘ve focused mainly on others though, not because I don’t think he’s a brilliant keeper, my focus has just been elsewhere.
“But he’s someone that deserves all the credit and respect he gets in the game. He has the Premier League clean sheet record. No-one else can say that.
“He’s a fantastic goalkeeper and has been probably the best signing Arsenal have made in a long time in terms of what he’s brought to them and what he’s offered.
“There’s no doubt he’s an incredible goalkeeper and he’s someone I’d like to emulate for sure.”
While Cech has been an absolute revelation, the fact that Arsenal have also signed Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in recent seasons means that Butland’s assertion that Cech is “probably the best signing Arsenal have made in a long time in terms of what he’s brought to them and what he’s offered” is a bit of a stretch, but he’s saying nice things about one of our players, so let’s not get churlish about it.
Butland’s performance was very good on Sunday and the keeper clearly has a very big future ahead of him.
Signing for Stoke in 2013 and making the breakthrough into the first team this season after Chelsea bought Asmir Begovic to replace Cech when he left for Arsenal, Butland has more to thank the Arsenal man for than he might realise.