Gareth Southgate considering dropping West Ham first teamer in next England squad - report
By Abigail Withey
England manager Gareth Southgate is considering dropping West Ham first teamer Joe Hart as the Three Lions’ number one, according to a recent report.
The Telegraph has revealed that Southgate is seriously considering calling up Jack Butland, 24, to play in goal for the country’s upcoming World Cup qualifier in Malta.
The newspaper claims on their website that the England manager even traveled to the Bet365 stadium on Saturday to watch Butland’s performance during Stoke’s 1-0 win over Premier League giants Arsenal.
It’s understood that the Manchester City keeper, who is currently on loan at the London stadium, is in serious jeopardy of losing his place after conceding a staggering seven goals in just two Hammers games.
The report states that 30-year-old Hart is still respected within his international team because of his crucial experience and maturity, but Southgate is keen for the Stoke keeper to become first-choice and make an appearance next month instead.
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Butland last made an appearance in the England squad back in March 2016 against Germany, but his time on the pitch ended when he was stretchered off with a fractured ankle.
Hart was formerly England and Manchester City’s preferred choice in goal, but has slipped over the past few seasons, particularly at the Etihad as he was named as surplus to requirements within Pep Guardiola’s squad.
Since moving to West Ham, the keeper has had a difficult time after firstly losing to Manchester United in a heavy 4-0 defeat in the opening game of the season, which was followed by a 3-2 loss at the weekend against Southampton.
Hart will be devastated to lose his place in the England squad, as a move to West Ham was driven by the promise of regular first team football in order to improve his international chances.
In other West Ham transfer news, this Hammers attacker is favouring a move to Premier League rivals.