Pickford is favorite to be between the sticks for the Three Lions at the summer World Cup in Russia.
The Russia 2018 World Cup can’t come any sooner for Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
The 24-year-old has been widely tipped to emerge as manager Gareth Southgate’s first choice stopper at the summer tournament, and going by his performances in the just concluded campaign, he is man enough and up to the huge task.
Pickford will be hoping to succeed Manchester City’s Joe Hart as England’s number one for years to come after a meteoric rise within the last four years, and his noteworthy achievements are unbelievable given that he was completely out of the Three Lions first team picture during the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
The Everton star and Sunderland academy graduate had just wrapped up his fourth loan away from the Black Cats at the time with League Two club Carlisle United.
Prior to 2014, Pickford had had loan spells with Conference Premier side Darlington and Alfreton Town, and League Two Burton Albion, and those experiences proved valuable for the big tasks ahead.
The former England youth international moved to League One to play for Bradford City at the start of the 2014-15, and one more loan spell in the Championship with Preston North End the following season convinced Sunderland he was ready to become a full-time backup goalkeeper in the Premier League.
However, an arm injury to Vito Mannone handed him a chance, and although the 2016–17 campaign ended in relegation for the Black Cats, Pickford was a bright spark during the campaign.
He ended up becoming the most expensive British goalkeeper of all time when he completed a £30million switch to Goodison Park last summer.
The Toffees man further established himself as one of the safest hands in the league during the 2017-18 campaign, making 121 saves, 22 punches, keeping 10 clean sheets, and deservedly emerging as the club’s Player of the Season, Players’ Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season.
Pickford will now hope to make a solid statement with his performances in Russia, and he could end up attracting the continental bigwigs.
Should his career continue at an upwards trajectory, a much bigger move could be on the cards going forward, and he could end up becoming one of the best in the world come Qatar 2022.