'I must have done all right this past year' - Butland sees positive in Arsenal rumours

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The goalkeeper is pleased to be the subject of interest from Premier League rivals, but is fully focused on working his way back to full fitness

Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland admits reports suggesting that he is a summer transfer target for Arsenal are "positive".

The England international suffered a fractured ankle during a friendly date with Germany in March 2016 which put an end to his European Championship dream.

He was able to return to the Potters fold in pre-season, but required further surgery which has prevented him from taking in any competitive minutes this season.

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His absence from the Premier League stage has not prevented him from sparking exit talk, though, with Arsenal said to see the 24-year-old as a long-term successor to Petr Cech.

Butland insists he is reading little into the reports as his rehabilitation continues, but he is pleased to hear that his ability is still being recognised after so long out of the spotlight.

He told the Stoke Sentinel: “I must have done all right this past year, I can’t remember!

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“That’s football. It’s not anywhere near the transfer window yet, but that’s the way papers work.

“I just take it as a positive that I’m still thought about in the football world after so long out. But my focus is on Stoke, always has been, and playing well.

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“I’m just worried about getting playing again, getting the gloves and boots back on.

“My only focus is playing again for Stoke, getting some game time before the end of the season and hopefully start getting back into the England side as well.”

Butland has been eased back into training with the Potters, with Mark Hughes revealing that he currently splits his time between physio work and more specialised exercises with the club’s goalkeeping coaches.

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