Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford continued to grab the headlines for the wrong reasons last weekend.
A mistake – which didn’t prove too costly in the end – was the main focus of attention for the stopper despite a spirited display that saw him make a number of good saves against Crystal Palace.
However, it wasn’t the first time Pickford had made an error this term. The England man seems to have suffered from a lack of concentration at times, leading to previously uncharacteristic mistakes.
Furthermore, the form of Dean Henderson and Nick Pope has also increased the pressure on him. Indeed, calls for both Pope and Henderson to usurp him as England number one have been growing by the week it seems.
Pickford’s place at Everton, though, is not seen to be under threat. Jonas Lossl has now left, leaving experienced stopper Maarten Stekelenburg as the main back-up.
At 37, Stekelenburg will be aware of his role as the second choice. The Dutchman, though, has yet to sign a new deal with the club. It means that as things stand, the Toffees only have Pickford as a recognised ‘keeper beyond the summer.
Patience could pay off for Stekelenburg
Ever the professional, the Dutchman has caused little concern during his time on Merseyside. Indeed, a report from the Liverpool Echo explains just how his professionalism has shone through.
But the time could soon come where Stekelenburg gets his chance. Of course, it will take a massive loss of confidence and form from Pickford for Carlo Ancelotti to drop him completely.
However, the Italian won’t suffer mistakes for too long. He demands success and will be keen to see Pickford iron out these lapses of concentration he has been having.
Stekelenburg, then, might be wise to put pen to paper on a new deal. If Pickford continues to falter, then a door might just open up for the experienced goalkeeper.
At 37, chances will be at a premium elsewhere you would think. Therefore, he might be better chancing his arm at Goodison Park for another 12 months.