Butland: I'm surprised he hasn't won more!
Jack Butland believes fellow Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea fully deserves to win this season’s Golden Glove award.
The Spaniard kept his 17th clean sheet of the campaign during Saturday’s 1-0 win at Bournemouth, confirming that he has claimed the prize as he is now three shutouts clear of his nearest challenger, Liverpool's Alisson, with just one week of 2022/23 to play.
It’s only the second time De Gea has claimed the Golden Glove during his 12 full seasons at United, with our no.1 also coming out on top at the end of the 2017/18 term – he can still better the tally of 18 clean sheets from that season, as the Reds have games against Chelsea and Fulham to negotiate.
Butland, who has been working with De Gea since his January loan arrival from Crystal Palace, hugely admires the 32-year-old as a shot-stopper and a person and is surprised he hasn’t won more of these awards, considering his longevity and quality.
“I’ve watched him from a distance for a long time and he’s a fantastic shot stopper. He's a great guy. He's been enjoyable to work with,” Jack told club media last week.
“He's been great for me since I've come in, been really positive and helpful, and I've enjoyed working with him. So it's been good fun and he deserves it.
“I think it might be his second Golden Glove. I’m surprised he hasn't had more, but such is the quality of the league. He's a top goalkeeper, he deserves it and he's been vitally important in those clean sheets.
“Where we're at in the league right now, he’s played a big part in that and he fully deserves the Golden Glove.”
De Gea’s consistency and availability across the season means Butland is yet to appear for the club he has supported since boyhood.
Like all of our other goalkeepers, though, the former Birmingham City and Stoke City stopper is both a valuable presence in the dressing room and out on the training pitches.
“I mean you can only be yourself and certainly I felt when I first came in, you're a little bit wary of being too loud or too boisterous and chirpy at times because I'm a happy sort of chirpy character,” the England international added, when explaining his role and character.
“So you tread carefully to begin with, make sure you don't sort of rub anyone up the wrong way, but they're a great group. I've got on really well with everybody.
“We have a great laugh in training, whether it's with some of the attacking players – even just shooting practice with Bruno [Fernandes] and Fred and things like that, you get a really good rapport with people and everyone's themselves and we have a great time.
“I'm certainly a positive person. I like having a positive impact on people and, you know, I feel extremely positive about myself and where I'm at, at the minute.”