Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has pulled out of the England squad for their upcoming friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands which now opens the door for Jack Butland, Fraser Forster or Tom Heaton to make a case for being England’s number one goalkeeper.
Here is a look at the three goalkeepers to see who is best placed to make a push for the number one jersey ahead of Euro 2016.
Jack Butland (Stoke)
Butland has had the best season of his career so far with Stoke who are eighth in the Premier League table at the time of writing. The 23-year-old has been out on loan at Cheltenham, Birmingham, Barnsley, Leeds and Derby, as a well as a permanent spell at Birmingham, before getting his break in the first team with the Potters.
The Bristol-born shot-stopper made his debut for England in 2012 but then had to wait three years for his next appearance. Butland kept a clean sheet in the Three Lions’ 3-0 victory over Lithuania during Euro 2016 qualifying but had little to do during that game.
Butland is likely to start against either Germany or the Netherlands so a strong performance could give Hodgson something to think about for the summer. If Hart was to pick up an injury which ruled him out of the European Championship, the England manager has a worthy replacement.
Fraser Forster (Southampton)
Southampton are once again having a fantastic season in the Premier League as, at the time of writing, they have an outside shot of a top-four finish at the end of the campaign. Fraser is joined in the England squad by Ryan Bertrand who could be great value at 20/1 in the anytime betting as an alternative to first goalscorer options.
Forster has been one of the key reasons for Southampton’s success this season. The Saints have conceded just 32 goals in 31 games in the campaign. Only Tottenham, Manchester United, Leicester and Arsenal have a better defensive record and all four of those clubs have world-class goalkeepers.
The Southampton goalkeeper has featured on three occasions for the national team. He made his debut in a friendly against Chile at Wembley where England lost 2-0, while he has also played in ties against Honduras and Scotland.
Tom Heaton (Burnley)
Once Hart was confirmed as unavailable for the games against Germany and the Netherlands, Hodgson called up Heaton to travel with England. The Burnley goalkeeper has never played for the England senior team and unless Butland or Forster get injured before or during the two friendlies, he is likely to be bench for those games.
The 29-year-old started his career at Manchester United but left the club in 2010 to join Cardiff. With Burnley flying high in the Championship, he is likely to be back in the Premier League next season with the Clarets which will help his chances of earning his first cap if he is able to shine for the Lancashire club.