Danny Murphy has shared that Aston Villa's Tom Heaton told him that the much-criticised Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is 'perfect' for England and is 'as good as anyone' at playing out from the back.
Speaking to White and Sawyer on TalkSport (10/02/2020 at 10:25 am), Murphy was reacting to Pickford's comments from the weekend where the shot-stopper hit back at critics and claimed that there are some who 'hate' him, but it seems as though the Everton man has been defended by his fellow Englishman over at Villa Park.
"Some of his statements are becoming contradictory in the same interview," Murphy told TalkSport. "What I mean by that is his career personally with England has gone very, very well. And he had a brilliant World Cup. And he took the plaudits and rightly so for showing character, leadership qualities and his feet are great.
"Now, you cannot have the best of both. You cannot take the plaudits and then start coming out and being on the attack because you are getting a bit of criticism.
"I was talking with Tom Heaton, who has unfortunately just done his cruciate. I was working with Tom [on Match of the Day], who knows a lot more about goalkeepers than me. And he said the reason he thinks Pickford will remain number one is partly his character and he has got good leadership qualities.
"But also because he is perfect for the way England want to play. They want to play out and Pickford is as good as anyone. And that he has a wonderful left foot. So, he thinks he will remain number one."
Pickford's mistake from Saturday, when he allowed Christian Benteke's weak shot to go under him and beat him, resulted in critics coming out and firing shots at him.
That saw Pickford come out fighting in the press and claim that 'everybody hates you', as he singled out Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, as someone who 'just wants to come at England players', as quoted by BBC Sport.
At this moment in time, Pickford is England's number one. Villa's Heaton, who is now out of contention, was behind him in the pecking order, alongside his former Burnley teammate, Nick Pope.
But another player has emerged on the radar in Sheffield United's Dean Henderson. Given that the Blades are flying high in the league, just outside of the European places, and have the second-best defensive record in the league. It only increases calls for Henderson to replace Pickford as England's number one.
Saying that, there is still several months of the season left and if Pickford can pick up some form then there's no reason why he shouldn't be donning the number one gloves for the Euros this summer.
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