Former Stoke City goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen said Jack Butland is reaping the benefits of his apprenticeship away from the club, though is he unsure whether the England international will be prised away from the Britannia.
After spending time on loan at Birmingham City, Barnsley, Leeds United and Derby County in the Championship, Butland is now Stoke’s number one keeper following Asmir Begovic’s move to Chelsea during the off-season.
Butland, who signed a new four-year deal in March, has been a star performer for Stoke, with his six clean sheets reportedly alerting Premier League giants Liverpool and Manchester United.
However, the 22-year-old England international has already distanced himself from reports linking him with a move to Anfield.
Sorensen, who spent seven seasons at Stoke from 2008 to this year, was asked by Omnisport if Butland could resist the lure of joining one of the biggest club’s in England and the former Denmark international said: “It’s hard to judge.
“I talked to him a couple of years ago when he joined Stoke. He was third choice and very frustrated.
“He is young and eager and wanted to play. I told him to wait your time, work hard, which he has done and he is now reaping the benefits.
“It was the right thing. He went and got some experience at Championship clubs and waited his time. He has been tremendous for them this season.”
Sorensen was at the club when Tony Pulis signed Butland from Birmingham in 2013.
The 39-year-old’s career in England was slowly drawing to a close as he played second-fiddle to Begovic.
Sorensen, who now plies his trade for Australian club Melbourne City in the A-League, added: “It’s been a good row of goalkeepers. They have been spoiled, going back to Gordon Banks.
“It’s weird to think Begovic, myself and Butland were at the club at the same time, which is ridiculous really.
“I think it’s made everyone better. It benefited Butland. We had a great mix and we are all good friends.”