Michael O’Neill has confirmed that Angus Gunn has entered into a loan deal with Town of Stoke until the end of next season.
Davies started the campaign in first place until he injured his knee in October and – after Bursik, 20, was recalled from the loan at Doncaster and impressed in their absence – Gunn was back in shape. when O’Neill made a change in January.
Bursik has watched the last two games from the stands after Davies also regained his physical form, but the manager believes it has been an important year for his development.
“You have to be fair to the player” O’Neill told Radio Stoke’s Matt Sandoz. “Joe has done very well for us as a young goalkeeper entering the championship, having had the first part of the season on loan at Doncaster. He’s gaining experience all the time.
“Angus was ready to play, Joe was feeling peckish and with that Angus seized the opportunity. It’s unfortunate for Adam Davies because at the time he was just a little slower in his return from injury.
“These are all decisions I have to make.
“Joe is a big part of the future of this club – but being a goalkeeper is part of the team. There is only one who can play. Joe is taking care of that now, that is. is the other side of being a goalie.
“It’s up to Angus to make sure his form stays at a level where I don’t have to consider either of the other two guys.”
He added: “Angus has entered into a loan deal for this season and next, so we’re not looking any further than that at the moment.”
Longtime former Stoke goalkeepers coach Andy Quy, on duty at Radio Stoke last night, knows the club are well stocked in that department, which will mean tough decisions.
He said: “It’s a really interesting prospect for the club in terms of goalkeeper management. With Angus being there for another season, Adam Davies still under contract and Josef having entered the first team, played at a good level and showed he is capable in the league.
“Also with Blondy (Nna Noukeu) behind pushing hard, there are four very good goalkeepers to welcome at the moment.”
He added: “I think there was an agreement (for Gunn) based on Joe’s loan out to League One and we weren’t expecting him to feature this season for Stoke City, It’s certain.
“I don’t think the club thought Joe would play in the league this season, the lane was considered a loan at Doncaster and there would be a full season and play good games at a high level. Doncaster is also looking for a promotion so this would have been a good test for him.
“The fact that Joe has come in and played at a very good level due to injuries gives them a problem as to how they are going to accommodate three first-team goalkeepers they have in the future and expect. certainly looking forward to next season. “
These top three team goalkeepers are expected to fight fiercely on a day-to-day basis at Clayton Wood.
Quy said: “It’s going to be extremely competitive. The training will be good, of high quality. They are three fantastic people in terms of people, the way they do their jobs and the qualities they have. The training will be excellent.
“The disappointment will come at the end of the week. One of them will be missing. But they will all have read the situation until January, they are not stupid. They understand in which direction things are going to go.
“Joe will have known that the other two would have been on his heels coming back from injury. It’s competition and you have to thrive in those conditions. His time may return, there are a lot of games by the end of the season.
Clubs are expected to follow Davies and Bursik’s status ahead of the summer transfer window. Davies will enter the final year of his contract while Bursik signed a long-term contract last season to keep him at the club until 2023.
Quy said: “This is something that will be evaluated at the end of the season. They will be looking at the goalkeepers in the building and what will be best for those individuals at this point and what will be best for the club.
“There may be interest from other clubs in Adam Davies or Josef, they have both played at a high level, so it’s up to Stoke City to make a decision on what they want and where they see the future of these keepers. “
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Bursik made 16 appearances for Stoke before being pulled from the squad last month.
“I think at first he will be very disappointed,” Quy said. “He will feel that he has played at a good level, he will know what he needs to learn and what mistakes he made and how to correct them. He will have worked hard to achieve it.
“He will be desperate for another opportunity. He tasted it and he will be really desperate to get another one, hopefully this season.
“The first thing will be disappointment, the second thing will be knowing that he has to support the team, work hard, train hard every day and show the manager that you are the best that he can be every day and that that’s why he should be put on the squad again.