Everton fans have had mixed feelings over their number one goalkeeper this season. Signed from Sunderland in 2017, for a fee reported by the BBC to be in the region of £25 million, Jordan Pickford immediately impressed at Goodison Park.
He was probably the club’s best player last term in a difficult campaign at Goodison Park.
After an excellent World Cup, that was expected to continue. However, he has been inconsistent and some Everton fans have expressed their disappointment at his displays.
But with the equally unconvincing Maarten Stekelenburg the only competition, there is little motivating the England stopper.
Perhaps, his biggest competition will actually come from an under-the-radar summer addition. Everton signed Joao Virginia from Arsenal in August. The 19-year-old Portuguese under-21 international has gone on to cement himself as a top young option at Finch Farm.
Everton under-23 boss David Unsworth was singing his praises to the club’s official website recently and it is clear that last season’s FA Youth Cup finalist is one for the future at Goodison Park.
“Every successful team is built on a sound defence.
“We’ve had Joao [Virginia] playing in goal, too, who has been a revelation for us.”
With Everton’s season effectively over, plenty of young players will be hoping for a chance. It would be no surprise if, before the end of the season, Virginia was given a chance to play back-up to Pickford.
In the years to come, the pair could hopefully have a competitive and mutually beneficial relationship.