Stoke boss Mark Hughes believes Jack Butland should be considered England’s number one goalkeeper.
The Potters stopper missed the majority of last season after undergoing surgery on a fractured ankle but has been an ever-present in the Premier League this term.
The 24-year-old was included in England’s squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia but was overlooked for a place in the team, with Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate preferring to stick with long-term number one Joe Hart.
Hughes fully understands why Southgate preferred to keep faith with West Ham stopper Hart although he also believes Butland should now be considered England’s best goalkeeper.
“I haven’t talked to anybody at England about it,” Hughes told the Stoke Sentinel.
“There’s a number of goalkeepers they could have gone with but in my view it was either Joe or Jack, and I thought Jack clearly presented a really strong case to be picked.
“You understand to a certain extent that Gareth would want to be loyal but sometimes you have to deal with the here and now rather than what’s gone on in the past.
“But if you are in the business of winning games, you have to go with the guy in form.”
Butland will be hoping to continue his impressive form with Stoke, particularly as England are now well positioned to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Three Lions can secure their place at next summer’s finals if they beat Slovenia at Wembley next month and they are priced at 21.00 to claim overall glory at the tournament.