Jamie Carragher has backed Jordan Pickford to bounce back from his critics, speaking to The Telegraph, but insists the Everton number one has a long way to go before he can be considered a ‘great’ goalkeeper.
Be honest here; where does Pickford rank in terms of the most in-form English shot-stoppers this season?
Is he better than Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson right now? Certainly not. What about Burnley’s Nick Pope? Or even Bournemouth’s rising star Aaron Ramsdale? And this is without even mentioning Tom Heaton, who saw an impressive debut season at Aston Villa brought to a premature end with a knee injury in January.
Pickford is expected to start between the sticks for England at this summer’s European Championships but he can consider himself to be very fortunate to still have Gareth Southgate’s trust.
The £30 million stopper has made a series of high-profile errors since that stoppage-time blunder against Liverpool in 2018, most recently allowing a Christian Benteke daisy-cutter to squirm through his arms at Goodison Park.
And Liverpool legend Carragher admits that Pickford has a lot to improve upon, stating that he needs to start fulfilling that vast potential sooner rather than later if he is to attract attention from clubs the size of Chelsea.
“He is a good goalkeeper but not yet a great one,” Carragher says.
“And if he is realistic it is now, at 25, and in his third season at Everton that he needs to make that step up to being one of the best in the Premier League.
“If Chelsea are to recruit a new goalkeeper this summer my argument would be that Pickford would not be first in their thoughts, and that should tell him something.”
There remains a suspicion that Pickford, with his rather lad-about-town approach to the game, is his own worst enemy at times. And his comments after gifting Benteke his first goal in 18 Premier League games, suggesting that his critics aplenty are waiting to pounce on his every error, certainly didn’t do him any favours.
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