Transfer Talk: Jordan the perfect Pick for Premier League's top dogs
Jordan Pickford is under contract at Everton until 2024 but some of the Premier League's big boys are monitoring his situation ahead of the summer window.
Rumours have linked Tottenham and Manchester United with the England stopper, although Sean Dyche is said to be desperate to keep the 28-year-old at Goodison Park.
Pickford has played a key role in helping the Toffees maintain their top-flight status over the last two years but may decide to move on from Merseyside should the right offer arrive.
Ahead of tonight's derby against Liverpool, we take a look at Everton's No1 in more detail.
At 28, Pickford's best days as a goalkeeper are still ahead of him and it is no surprise that Dyche is keen for the 50-cap international to sign a new deal.
The former Sunderland ace has made some vital stops in the battle to avoid relegation both this season and in 2021-22, including a few handy saves against league leaders Arsenal last weekend.
Despite struggling under Frank Lampard until his recent dismissal, Pickford has still been able to record four clean sheets for the Merseyside club this term.
One of these came against tonight's opponents Liverpool in September, where his heroics at Goodison Park saw him make eight saves.
His contributions have even seen him record an assist this season — a long ball up to Demarai Gray back in August helped his side secure a 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest.
Former Burnley boss Dyche will be hoping for a repeat of that this evening, but any standout performance will likely enhance the interest surrounding the Washington-born keeper.
Outperforming his team-mates
Everton are in a precarious position in the Premier League but a win tonight would lift them above West Ham and into 16th.
If they are to overcome their relegation woes, they will need their star man to perform at his best and replicate his impressive form from the reverse fixture.
This season, Pickford ranks in the top three for saves made. His 75 stops can only be bettered by Bernd Leno of Fulham and David Raya of Brentford with 55 of those coming from efforts inside of his penalty box,
He may have conceded 28 goals, but much of that blame can be passed onto the defence who have been sub-par in recent months and often spared their blushes by Pickford.
The 6ft guardian has also completed 11 punched clearances in 2022-23 and has completed eight sweeper regains, which indicates that he is often having to tidy up mistakes made in the backline.
A big decision
If Pickford is going to go on and compete for major silverware in his career, he will need to make a tough decision in the summer.
While he is a loyal servant of Everton, it is unlikely that they are going to be appearing in any finals in the near future and a decision to leave would at least reward the club with a decent transfer fee.
Alternatively, he could commit his best years to a club that has shown faith in him and guarantee a legendary status within the ranks of the loyalists.
As England's No1, there should be no doubt that Pickford is one of the best goalkeepers in the country and he would tick a lot of boxes for the clubs that are interested in him.
He would help fulfil the homegrown quota that is required of all Premier League sides and his leadership qualities would ensure that there is no slacking when it comes to fighting for three points.
Pickford is known for his passing range and excellent when performing as a sweeper keeper, two qualities that most managers value in the modern game.
Bigger and better
There is no doubt that Pickford could thrive at a top-six club and many pundits are in agreement that the former Carlisle keeper should jump at the opportunity to move.
Scottish pundit Tam McManus is one of many who believe he should move on in the summer and believes Pickford will actively be looking for a way out.
He said: "He is a top, top keeper and Everton are such a mess. He has to be looking for a way out, everything with his contract as well.
"Why would he stay? Why haven’t bids gone in for him? If a big club comes in then he would ask to leave, I’m certain of that.
"This is the second season in a row where he’s been in a relegation fight, that’s got to affect you in a big way and he is so much better than that. He should be playing in the Champions League."
Pickford may be good enough to play in the Champions League and he will get the chance to prove it as he lines up at Anfield tonight in a huge match for both clubs.