In the Sky Sports report, it is written that Butland is seen as a “long-term investment” by the club. Sure, Butland could pan out to be a savior between the crossbars, but the move seems puzzling considering the glut of skilled keepers on the roster.
The Blues already sport Petr Cech in goal, who has been in top form for several years now. Cech is the keeper of today and the near present, embedded in Chelsea lore after last season’s Champions League title.
However, Cech has been dealing with groin and back problems this year and may not have many quality years left. Even so, the Blues have immediate help in Ross Turnbull and Hilario as adequate backups.
Then waiting in the wings is Belgian Thibault Courtois, who is currently on loan with Atletico Madrid in La Liga. The young keeper has the look of a future star, playing in the net for Atletico’s Super Cup, including a championship win over Cech and Chelsea last August.
With Cech and Courtois firmly planted on the Blues’ docket for the foreseeable future, the question begs: What's Butland’s part in all of this?
Practice makes perfect for young keepers and Courtois will need all the minutes he can play to adjust to Premier League play when he arrives.
If Butland is alongside him stealing caps, both will get a limited sample size and only scratch their potential in a Chelsea kit.
Both players will need seasons of experience to come into their own. Needing to duel with another youngster for their place in goal seems shortsighted when the Blues spend millions to keep them in uniform.
So on one hand, Benitez claims he wants to close his checkbook. On the other side, Chelsea has interest in acquiring Butland before the deadline. It’s up to you who to believe.
Perhaps Chelsea’s interest is merely to bump Butland’s price tag, as Liverpool, Everton Newcastle and Southampton all have interest in the keeper. All could use a backup goaltender much more so than Chelsea as well.
Hopefully approaching Butland is merely a negotiation ploy. Otherwise the Blues are playing dangerously with their future in the net.
Mike Shiekman is a Breaking News Writer for Bleacher Report.