Everton Agree £30 million fee for Future England Number one

Today it was announced that Everton could finally be about to land their number one summer transfer target. After weeks of negotiation, Sunderland accepted a bid of £30 million for their England Under 21 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Currently on international duty with England U21s, it is understood that Pickford will undergo a medical on his return and sign a long term contract with the Merseyside club.

Everton Agree £30 million fee for Future England Number One

Sunderland fans will be naturally disappointed about losing a player that has come through the clubs academy. It was however, always likely that the club would cash in on their prize asset after relegation from the Premier League. The Black Cats are unlikely to get the full £30 million right away due to Everton including several add-ons in the deal. The money should go towards helping their new manager when appointed, mount a challenge for promotion back to the top flight.

Potential star

Pickford’s potential has been there to see for several years now. Loan spells early in his career at Bradford City, Carlisle United and Burton Albion, gave many hope that a star player was coming through the ranks at Sunderland. However, it was a loan spell at Preston North End during the first half of the 2015-2016 season that saw people take notice of the keeper. Pickford performed heroics while on loan at Deepdale as the club struggled at the wrong end of the Championship table. His form for England U21s was also exceptional, prompting many to believe that he could soon be in the full England squad.

Rise at Sunderland

His form persuaded Sunderland’s manager at the time Sam Allardyce to recall him from loan, sell Costel Pantilimon and make him the clubs number two keeper. He started two games during the second half of the season away at both Arsenal and Tottenham, performing well each time. A battle for the number one position was well under way.

During pre season, Pickford and Vito Mannone battled it out to be number one. New manager David Moyes went for the more experienced Mannone to start the season; however an injury meant Pickford was soon in goal. His performances for the rest of the season were one of the very few positives that could be taken from the Black Cats dismal showing. The club and their long suffering fans braced themselves for bids from top clubs.

The inevitable

It was only a matter of time before interest became clear. Several top clubs were reported to be ready to make an offer for the 23 year old; however it was Everton that became front runners. Early low bids were rejected as Sunderland placed a £30 million price tag on the keeper. After much discussion Everton appear to have finally matched the Black Cats asking price.

England and the future

Pickford is already an established Premier League and England U21 keeper. He has also been included in successive squads since the appointment of Gareth Southgate as the England national team manager. His impressive performances at England U21 level have many believing that it will only be a matter of time before he replaces under pressure Joe Hart as England’s number one choice in goal. His probable transfer back to the Premier League to a side competing at the top end of the table will also be beneficial to him. If as expected Pickford continues his progress, then £30 million will be money well spent on a keeper that could be theirs and England’s number one keeper for many years to come.

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