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Clark tips Butland for greatness

Birmingham manager Lee Clark is tipping Stoke City-bound Jack Butland to be the best goalkeeper in Europe.

The 19-year-old England international joined Stoke on transfer deadline day but has been loaned back to Championship club Birmingham for the rest of the season.

Clark, who gave Butland his Chelsea debut in August, expects the youngster to reach the very top and has praised him for snubbing Chelsea in the final week of the January window.

“We’ve lost in terms of the long term, in my opinion, the best goalkeeper in Europe,” Clark told the BBC.

“We’ve got him back for the rest of the season, but I would just love a bit more time to work with him.”

“I think many young players would have jumped at that (Chelsea) for the profile and financial rewards. But Jack looks at the bigger picture. He’s not only a top player but he’s a top young guy.

“He knows eventually he’s going to be at a top club, and that’s not disrespectful to Stoke who are a great Premier League club and have a fantastic manager, but ultimately he’s going to end up at a Champions League club competing for the higher honours.”

Sat 2 Feb, 2013
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