Former Everton and England manager Sam Allardyce has told TalkSPORT that Jordan Pickford's performances for the Toffees this season warranted his £25million transfer fee last summer.
The 24-year-old is expected to start in goal for England on June 18 against Tunisia, as The Three Lions jet out to Russia for this summer's World Cup.
Pickford has earned his place between the sticks under Gareth Southgate after an excellent season in which the former Sunderland man kept 12 clean sheets in a side that struggled to plug the leak in defence.
Allardyce believes Pickford has proved that he was worth every penny of the £25million fee Everton splashed out last summer after winning the Player of the Season award, and reckons he should start against Tunisia.
“He’s an old head on young shoulders, he does so many good things and he’s so consistent," Allardyce said. "The big question at the start of the season was whether he could handle the £25million fee on his head at such a young age – he was their player of the year!
“That’s not just me being obviously slightly biased because I worked with him at Sunderland and Everton, but everyone at Everton saw him as the best and most consistent performer in the entire season.
"That says it all and that’s why he should start for England in Russia.”
Pickford faces competition for a place in the starting line-up against Stoke City's Jack Butland and Burnley's Nick Pope, but Southgate's team selections for the friendlies against Nigeria and Costa Rica suggested Pickford will start.
The three-time international saw out the entire 90 minutes of the 2-1 win over Nigeria, while Butland and Pope shared the 2-0 win over Costa Rica at Elland Road.