Do Liverpool need to sign Jack Butland in January?

Goalkeeping Gloves

The Birmingham City stopper is being heavily linked with a winter exit and the Anfield club are reportedly in competition to sign him along with Everton and Southampton. In light of Pepe Reina's sketchy season so far should they make signing Butland a priority during the window?

Liverpool FC have a long and rich history of truly superb goalkeepers. If not just for their general ability but for their charismatic and pivotal moments of legendary heroism. Names such as Bruce Grobelaar, Ray Clemence and Elisha Scott are three of their greatest. While the actions of Jerzy Dudek in 2005 will always make him a hero in the red-side of Liverpool.

If you back-up maybe three years many circles would also have argued the case of their current custodian Pepe Reina among their great goalkeeping talents. Currently however his goalmouth and career have not been living a charmed life.

Criticised by many for what has been a perceived poor season so far there has been calls from some for him to be given an extended break. Perhaps to recharge batteries or as a wake-up call that his position in the first team is not unconquerable. However such a decision would not be wise with the only options in reserve being the mistake ridden Brad Jones and unproven Hungarian Peter Gulacsi.

An option that has been whispered in some circles is a move for young England international Jack Butland. The 19-year-old stopper has had a breakout year in 2012, with his performance at the Olympic Games for Team GB one of the many highlights and given the Midland’s club are in serious financial plight a sale may be essential come January.

Butland could begin as understudy to Reina, learning from a talented stopper every day in training while also gaining experience in the Europa League and League Cup. Whether he fits in as a ‘sweeper keeper’ for Brendan Rodgers is another question. Based on the exploits of legendary stoppers such as Gyula Grosics and Jan Jongbloed this idea of a ball-playing keeper is now in use at Barca with Victor Valdes and Swansea stopper Michel Vorm is also excellent with the ball at his feet.

But at 19-years-old Butland would have plenty of time to develop this side of his game until he was ready to become the leading light in Anfield’s goalmouth. While the failed Liverpool stop-off’s in Scott Carson and Chris Kirkland’s careers may heed a warning of sorts Butland backs his ability over all else.

Everton are also reportedly after him while Southampton are in desperate need of a goalkeeper after recent new signing Artur Boruc’s alarmingly deflated debut was only matched by his alarmingly inflated physical appearance.

But should Liverpool do their utmost to secure serious competition for Pepe Reina and tie-down a potential future star in January?

Should Liverpool snap up Jack Butland?

image: © mr-football

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