To all those who criticised Jordan Pickford’s performances between the sticks at Everton last season, it is worth remembering that it could have been a whole lot worse.
Two weeks before Pickford swapped Sunderland for Everton in a £30 million deal, The Toffees apparently gave serious consideration to signing a little known Croatian keeper by the name of Lovre Kalinic instead.
According to Sportske Novosti, Everton were willing to pay Belgian outfit Gent a hefty £16.5 million for the 6ft 7ins shot stopper.
As you all know, however, Pickford arrived on Merseyside instead and Kalinic was forced to wait another 18 months before finally getting his chance in English football – a chance he has spectacularly squandered.
Kalinic joined Aston Villa during the January transfer window but it seems that he could be on his way out of the Midlands just half a season later. The Sun (2 June, page 59) claims that the newly promoted Villans are keen to replace their £7 million man – and that speaks volumes about his performances for Dean Smith’s side.
The 29-year-old’s Aston Villa career started with a error-strewn performance in a 3-0 FA Cup defeat at home to Swansea City and it just got worse from there. By the time 2018/19 had come to an end, Kalinic played just seven league games and lost his place to Jed Steer.
And with Kalinic seemingly up for sale already, Everton fans should be quite happy with Pickford in hindsight.
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