Everton and Carlo Ancelotti can look to exploit one key weakness of Jack Butland should Liverpool sign the Stoke City goalkeeper ahead of this month’s Merseyside Derby.
Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League champions have been linked with a late move to sign the former England international during the final week of the EFL transfer window by the Mirror, having lost first-choice Alisson Becker for six weeks through injury and harbouring concerns of Adrian’s talents after shipping seven goals to Aston Villa.
Liverpool have held talks with the Potters over the potential of a deal to sign Butland before travelling to Goodison Park on October 17, and could call on the £35,000-per-week shot-stopper against Everton should a move occur.
Butland has fallen further from his glory days of being an England international Stoke valued at £30million following their relegation, with the ‘keeper no longer first-choice and said to be desperate to leave the bet365 Stadium to rekindle his career having not featured since a 5-0 thrashing at Leeds United in July.
The 27-year-old is also in the final year of his contract and is noted to be one of Stoke’s top-earners, making a late deal for Butland to join Liverpool one that suits all parties involved.
Stoke have previously been claimed to now value Butland between £8m and £10m per Sky Sports, having received enquires but no firm offers earlier this summer.
Should Liverpool land the ‘keeper, Everton should not fear Butland’s involvement in the Merseyside Derby in place of Adrian as Ancelotti can look to exploit one key weakness in his game.
Of those goals fired past Butland, SofaScore data shows 45 were netted from strikes taken inside the Stoke penalty area compared to 11 hit home from outside the box.
Butland also only managed to record 43 saves from shots taken inside the Potters’ penalty area, showing he allowed more goals against him than he managed to prevent when opponents were able to get within the box.
That was not the same occurrence with shots taken outside of the penalty area, as Butland was able to turn away 31 of the 42 efforts struck from range in the second-tier last term.
Ancelotti and Everton, therefore, should not fret Butland’s potential involvement in the Merseyside Derby as they can look to work the ball into the box knowing their chance of scoring will drastically improve even if Klopp sees the 27-year-old as a better option to Adrian.
Everton have been able to fashion plenty of efforts on goal in the Premier League this season, with Ancelotti’s men boasting all but one of their joint-division-high 12 goals from efforts recorded inside the penalty area to date.