Jack Butland has admitted his development may be best served by leaving Stoke City on loan with first-team opportunities likely to be limited at Britannia Stadium this season.
First-choice goalkeeper Asmir Begovic was named Man of the Match as the Potters slumped to a 1-0 defeat against Liverpool on Saturday, while Thomas Sorensen was selected on the bench ahead of Butland. The 20-year-old is happy to remain patient in his pursuit of regular top-flight football, but he says he needs game time and would be willing to leave the club on a temporary basis in order to get it.
"It is difficult because I want to be playing," Butland, an England Under-21 international, told Sky Sports News. "But it's also been a realization that I've got to picture myself and say, I'm 20, I'm not old, I'm a very, very young goalkeeper in terms of playing in the Premier League, even in the Championship.
"I've got to maybe say 'OK' and sit back and see what's going, but I need to continue playing games.
"If playing in the Premier League doesn't happen this year, then I will be fighting and giving everything I've got to be playing next year."
Butland signed with Stoke in January from Birmingham City but was loaned back to the Championship side in order to maintain his regular stream of minutes. A similar move could be in the offing considering the current pecking order on Mark Hughes' side.
"We'll see what happens, and if a loan move is the right thing to do, then that will happen," Butland said. "I just need to do the right thing for my development and my career, which is play games. We will see what is the best option and go from there."