Dan Cook has claimed on the HLTCO podcast that Jack Butland could leave Crystal Palace this summer.
Vicente Guaita has been the main man between the sticks for the Eagles for a number of years, having made at least 30 appearances in each of his last three seasons.
He performed well for the south London club in that time, having been chosen by both fans and teammates as the side’s Player of the Year in the 2020-21 season.
There could be signs that the 35-year-old is slowly getting dethroned as the no.1 at Selhurst Park, with Jack Butland playing three of the last four matches of the season.
However, the England international did not do much to prove that he deserves to be starting for Patrick Vieira’s side after conceding four goals in the two games against Aston Villa and Everton. His WhoScored rating of 6.37 and 6.06 shows the disappointing nature of his performances.
This caused Cook to suggest that if Guaita is to be replaced next season, it is unlikely to be by Butland.
“It’s certainly an interesting time for Palace, because we’ve got an ageing Vicente Guaita, Jack Butland hasn’t necessarily pulled up that many trees in Palace colours, and as a consequence could well be leaving the football club this summer if Sam Johnstone comes in.”
TIF’s Thoughts on Cook’s Butland claims
There are clear signs that Guaita is not the goalkeeper he once was.
If you look at the difference between his post-shot expected goal and goals conceded, which tells you how well a keeper is doing compared to what they’re expected to do, it has changed from the former Valencia man saving 6.8 more goals than expected in 2019-20, to 2.2 goals less than expected last season, to 3.6 less this year (FBRef).
Butland has also been appreciated by boss Vieira this season, who called him a “real professional” after stepping in for the Eagles in January.
“Jack is a real professional. He is a positive professional. He’s been frustrated not playing but he never complained or he never shows it. He has always been keeping working hard. And when players want to do a one-two finishing drill he is always a first person to put his hand up.”
But while Palace can do with a new shot-stopper, the stats suggest that it should not be the former Stoker no.1 either. The 29-year-old’s average WhoScored rating of 6.45 is the third-worst in the team, and comfortably worse than Guaita’s 6.68 rating.
If the Bristol-born goalie does leave this summer, then it’s unlikely he will be missed by the Selhurst Park faithful.