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Stoke signing Given planning to push Butland for starting berth

Stoke City signing Shay Given is looking to challenge Jack Butland for the number one spot between the sticks at the Britannia Stadium


With Asmir Begovic all but set to depart for Chelsea, Stoke have moved to secure the services of experienced Republic of Ireland international Given on a free from Aston Villa.

Rather than being a direct replacement for Begovic though, Given has been seen as a back-up to the young Butland for the upcoming campaign.

However, 39-year-old Given has stated that he would not be content with playing second fiddle to Butland and added that the 22-year-old goalkeeper will get a run for his money to win the number one jersey at Stoke this season.

Given told the Stoke Sentinel: "Jack is a quality keeper, an up-and-coming star in goalkeeping terms. I will try to help him but I want to play as well. The competition will be healthy for Jack, for me, as well as Jakob Haugaard, the young keeper from Denmark who Stoke signed in the summer.

"That's healthy. You need competition in every position. Squads have changed now from having two to three keepers, sometimes four decent keepers at the clubs.

"But you need that, what with suspensions and injuries you need strong back-up. But also you need strong competition from behind the scenes pushing hard so the guy in the posts knows he needs to perform to keep his place."

Sarad Bade Shrestha
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Sarad Shrestha

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