England manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed that Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will be in the goal when the Three Lions kickoff their Euros 2020 qualify campaign against the Czech Republic on Friday.
The 25-year-old has struggled for consistency this term despite having a great campaign with England at the summer World Cup in Russia, and there are fears that he could lose his starting berth.
However, Premier League legend Alan Shearer, while he claims Pickford isn’t a world-class goalie doesn’t believe that will happen given the country’s lack of quality depth in the goalkeeping department.
“Jordan Pickford had a very good summer with England and that has given him plenty of credit in the bank, but he probably is starting to use some of that up now, as he has not had the best of seasons. He has made too many mistakes, most notably against Liverpool and then Newcastle recently,” Shearer told Coral.
“However, it’s in his favour that the number one spot is the position that we have the least amount of depth in, and for that reason I think that he will keep his place for the upcoming Euro qualifiers. Tom Heaton was doing well for Burnley but has dropped off in the last couple of games, and there’s nobody else coming in and really making a strong case for replacing Pickford. The truth is we don’t have a world class goalkeeper at the moment.
“There isn’t the strength in depth that England have in other positions right now. I was fortunate to play in an England side with David Seaman who was a very, very good keeper. He was phenomenal, he had such a great presence about him and he made us a much stronger team. I’m not sure we have had one as good as him since he retired and the current goalkeeping situation means Pickford will keep the shirt at the moment.”
Pickford truly has no one currently challenging him and keeping him on his toes at both club and country level, and that might have brought about some level of complacency.
Southgate’s preference for a ball-playing goalkeeper also means the Everton star will continue to retain his spot in the starting XI.
Nevertheless, Pickford has shown with his incredible performance against Chelsea at the weekend that he has what it takes to bounce back from a poor game, and while it can be argued that he isn’t world class at the moment, he has the potential to become one sooner or later.