Paul Merson has insisted that Everton’s Jordan Pickford should retain his position as England’s number one goalkeeper.
The shot-stopper made himself a national hero with his performances in the 2018 World Cup, as he helped Gareth Southgate’s side to the semi-final.
He also was in net during England’s third-placed finish in the Nations League and has 24 senior caps for the Three Lions.
But the 25-year-old domestic form this season has been questionable and some believe his international position could come under threat.
Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson and Burnley’s Nick Pope are two English goalkeepers in the Premier League that are arguably outperforming their Everton counterpart.
But pundit Merson has come to the defence of Pickford and strong believes that his international role should not come under threat.
“Jordan Pickford is [England’s] No. 1 and must be the Three Lions’ keeper when the tournament kicks off in June,” Merson wrote in the Daily Star.
“And I’m even prepared to overlook the fact that Pickford has dropped a couple of clangers at club level. The fact is the kid has never let his country down.
“He’s proved himself at the very highest level, performing superbly at the World Cup, saving penalties and handling the pressure like a veteran. You cannot put a price on experience and Pickford’s been there and done it.”
Pickford has made some poor individual mistakes this season at Goodison Park and it has to be a concern for international boss Southgate, who definitely has options elsewhere.
But it’s true that teams need experience going into major tournaments and there is a real belief that England can be a serious threat in this summer’s European Championships.
Pickford appears to be someone that thrives on the big stage and representing his country appears to raise his game.