Steve Walsh says that new Everton signings Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford have what it takes to form the bedrock of the national side in years to come.
The Blues' director of football is thought to have been the driving force behind bringing the pair to Goodison Park, from Burnley and Sunderland respectively, for what could eventually be a combined fee of £60m.
Both players are automatic starters for Ronald Koeman's side at the moment and Walsh sees them only getting better with experience.
“Pickford will be the number one goalkeeper in England,” Walsh said in an interview with club sponsor, Sure. “I think he'll play for England and be at Everton for a long time and be a bedrock on which to build the team.
“Michael Keane is young, he's got all the attributes to be a future leader, maybe captain of England.”
“You need somebody who is good in the air, who is competent and who can be strong. Upper body strength is a key role to be able to block shots, and want to defend.
“You get modern day defenders who are quite happy to play out from the back but when it comes to the hard core of the job, they are maybe not up to it.
“You're looking at strength and passion to put your body on the line when you need to. If you can play out from the back as well that's obviously a key role. Michael Keane fills both respects.
“He is able to defend but he's also able to play the ball and breaks the line regularly with his passes into midfield.”
Both players were named among the substitutes for England's World Cup qualifier against Slovenia this evening but only Keane saw action when he replaced Raheem Sterling with five minutes left in the 1-0 victory.
The result confirmed England's qualification for next year's World Cup Finals in Russia which could provide both Toffees players with the opportunity of representing their country on football's biggest stage.
Reader Comments (82)
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1 Posted 06/10/2017 at 06:06:29
I truly wish that those employees who are responsible for what happens on the pitch would focus on winning games and playing good footie rather than making obvious, gobshite statements to the press.
2 Posted 06/10/2017 at 06:24:11
3 Posted 06/10/2017 at 06:52:34
Ditto Ron and teary eyes. Joke of a club have been giving me nothing but grief in my 55 years. Brief period permitting in 1970 and before we got banned.
4 Posted 06/10/2017 at 06:55:39
And I'm yet to be convinced by either of these players. Pickford's reaction time is brilliant. He's great at getting down low fast, but he is short by goal keeping standards. Opposition players have figured out that they just need to aim high and he'll get beat.
Keane isn't quick like Stones, his decision making is pretty conservative and slow and so is his movement. He was brought in because he was supposedly great at taking on an attacker one on one, but I've seen him being beaten often now. He was also touted as a great aerial defender. He was good when first came, now he seems not so good at that. That said I think he is in our top 3 defenders, along with Jags and Holgate. I'd also like to see Pennington get a run.
5 Posted 06/10/2017 at 07:07:21
I expect the answer to that is he is watching other players of teams.
To be fair thats probably right. He recruits but has nothing to do with match day tactics or how the players perform.
The recruitment to the first team has hardly been the work of a genius. The signings were either established in the premiership or well known. Several have been recruited to the U23s only time will tell if they become successful. But, I feel, Walsh should out there trying to unearth some gems.
6 Posted 06/10/2017 at 08:16:44
8 Posted 06/10/2017 at 10:40:20
Does he watch his own team play? I could be wrong but didn't he take Koeman to Prenton Park for his (Koeman's) first look at the U-23s? It also reminds me of Howard Kendall saying how he envied Bob Paisley, as all Paisley had to do was put on a cloth cap and and stand in the Ground and nobody ever recognized him.
Oh, and who was it, on ToffeeWeb, some time ago, who said he was in a queue to get tickets, for an away game(?), when he realized the bloke in front of him was Steve Walsh.
9 Posted 06/10/2017 at 11:29:34
I think he has helped bring in some good young players- I doubt that Koeman was responsible for the youngsters we have bought.
The problem isn't the quality of player we have- it's the way they are being handled and the positions they are being played in.
10 Posted 06/10/2017 at 12:09:24
11 Posted 06/10/2017 at 12:35:27
Kane is the only striker worth his mustard. Sterling is a waste of space and Rashford hasn't stepped up to international level yet. Alli is okay and may form a good partnership with Kane but who else can score goals regular. Vardy and Sturridge are not good options these days.
Henderson and Dier can pass the ball well in their own half but the likes of Linguard, Oxlade and Livermore are just not good enough at international level.
Southgate is really out of his depth.
12 Posted 06/10/2017 at 13:14:45
They are both young and playing in a new team low on confidence, quality and leadership at the moment but I see their status as future International regulars as far from certain currently.
13 Posted 06/10/2017 at 13:20:41
Who can Bill sweeten next to continue the smokescreen? Perhaps Big Sam to tell us all not to worry as he's got loads of teams out of worse trouble!
Yet more complete bullshit from Bill and Mosh – more like Bill & Ben!
And yes, England are as shit as they look – hope Kane never gets injured!
14 Posted 06/10/2017 at 13:54:46
Pickford is too small, stays on his line for crosses – wait until Andy Carroll plays against us! The only defence for Keane is that it is hard to name a couple of centre backs who are any good that we could have signed. Funes Mori when fit will walk back into Everton's team; wether that is progress for our team is debatable.
Steve Walsh is doing a good job for the U23s and the academy, but for the first team, I don't know... but I am pretty sure he did not buy Klassen for £25 million!
16 Posted 06/10/2017 at 17:57:12
Pickford is an upgrade on Howard or Robles but isn't helped by the sieve that's in front of him.
18 Posted 06/10/2017 at 20:01:49
Watching England is akin to watching Everton – same meaningless lazy passes backwards & sideways... free kicks that can be put into the opponents box are continually taken quickly without any kind of thought... several back/sideways passes later, back to the keeper who launches it or he puts under pressure. I just don't got this passing game in our own half – just looks like a training exercise.
19 Posted 07/10/2017 at 08:36:52
It's easy to praise when you're winning, and it's even easier to criticise when you're not, but I'm really not sure about this director of football route, ever being a real success in football?
If the manager doesn't pick the players, then surely it should be his assistant? Imagine them sitting in the dug-out, when a player they never signed is doing shite?
20 Posted 07/10/2017 at 08:56:33
He's got some front, praising himself for his involvement in signing two youngsters with potential, while the transfer window as a whole was a disaster and could see us involved in a relegation scrap.
21 Posted 07/10/2017 at 09:27:34
22 Posted 07/10/2017 at 09:52:48
He should be playing on the left, cutting in to shoot a couple of times a game, and laying on crosses for DCL.
We have an exciting bunch of youngsters which I'm sure we'd all like to see drag us out of this negative slump.
23 Posted 07/10/2017 at 13:59:27
Pickford is the same height as
"Big Nev" 1,85m
24 Posted 07/10/2017 at 18:44:55
Dunno about that; he only got 7 mins for the 21's against Scotland and Tom Davies didn't even get off the bench.
25 Posted 07/10/2017 at 18:53:00
That doesn't fit in with the criteria used to beat the manager up.
I reckon Ademola should be used as a sub.
The suggestion appears to be he is on a par with the likes of Sterling,Rashford etc.
The old saying, the more games you miss the better a player you become, springs to mind
26 Posted 07/10/2017 at 18:54:21
27 Posted 07/10/2017 at 21:38:47
Re Lookman, what do you base your opinion on comparing him to Rashford and Sterling, when the lad hasnt even been given a chance to show his talent.
28 Posted 07/10/2017 at 22:33:51
29 Posted 08/10/2017 at 00:41:24
30 Posted 08/10/2017 at 00:51:40
31 Posted 08/10/2017 at 03:19:53
Give him time and he will come good.
32 Posted 08/10/2017 at 06:46:38
33 Posted 08/10/2017 at 07:48:20
34 Posted 08/10/2017 at 07:54:45
35 Posted 08/10/2017 at 08:01:20
Whatever the truth, it says enough about the mess we've been turned into, that these rumours are appearing.
36 Posted 08/10/2017 at 08:12:14
AC Milan in for Aguero.
Shows the mess City are in.
37 Posted 08/10/2017 at 08:27:45
And yes, I know it's gossip, hence I also included the word "rumours".
I guess you don't think we're in a mess then.
38 Posted 08/10/2017 at 08:38:26
Both are made up stories to fill space in a gossip column.
39 Posted 08/10/2017 at 08:58:22
He's got (I think) a pretty long contract so unless we actually do not want to keep him, or the likes of Arsenal/Spurs come in with a genuinely ridiculous offer (unlikely to happen) he's going nowhere. Koeman and/or maybe Unsworth need to keep him on side - or probably in the case of RK get him back on side because if hearsay has any truth he has already pissed him off royally.
As far as the end of October for RK rumours go it looks like the Sun/Mirror pundits or whoever they work for have been reading T/web as that is what we have been saying for some time now.
Mola may be able to look forward to working with Unsy on the first team. That should encourage him.
40 Posted 08/10/2017 at 09:01:08
Of course Lookman will be attracting the attention of the bigger clubs, especially the London clubs, they knew of his massive potential but stalled while we nipped in and got him. He will continue to be in the eye of many clubs some of them much bigger than Arsenal and Spurs.
If Koeman wants to save his job he should be using players with pace and skill like Lookman to provide the width we have all been crying out for, I said last week Koeman doesn't look like he is all that bothered whether stays or goes, a lot of us are, we want him gone because he is not earning the huge wages he is on.
41 Posted 08/10/2017 at 09:19:17
Levy will start the ball rolling with a ridiculously low bid for Barkley. Lets hope we have a new manager by then and Barkley has a complete change of heart and signs on the dotted
42 Posted 08/10/2017 at 09:59:36
People laughed at Darren, when he said Unsworth, but if the clubs long-term plan, is to bring the kids through, then he's got to be the obvious choice?
Long term plans, are so hard to achieve in football though, because sometimes a week can be forever, and players only really love you when they are playing.
43 Posted 08/10/2017 at 09:59:45
IF Koeman gets the elbow, I hope Barkley gets fit and signs a new deal. Can't believe the stick he got in the past considering the dross Klassen/Sigurdsson/Rooney have served up recently.
44 Posted 08/10/2017 at 10:09:37
He looks like he would fit into this present mess, because he can beat a man, and drive forward, but it wouldn't last imo, because even the best players in the world would struggle playing for Koeman, right now.
That's why I agree with Dave, and anyone else who feels that Ronald, doesn't really want to be here right now. The lack of width is killing us both offensively and defensively, and even people, who have never really played the game can see this, never mind a man who has been in football for most of his fucking life?
45 Posted 08/10/2017 at 10:10:23
I think we may lose a few more who may think they have made an error of judgement. Some/most will not be a great loss anyway.
46 Posted 08/10/2017 at 10:21:32
47 Posted 08/10/2017 at 10:23:17
48 Posted 08/10/2017 at 10:29:09
Lookman has got a chance to develop into a good player, he is not our saviour though.
49 Posted 08/10/2017 at 10:49:29
Barkley has never really reached the levels we all hoped he would.
Lookman I fully agree should be given more of a chance and it is quite worrying why he appears to have suddenly been sidelined by Koeman.
Koeman is part of the problem but the bigger problem is the lack of ambition behind the scenes.
Without that we will just continue to bumble along regardless of who is the manager.
50 Posted 08/10/2017 at 11:03:33
51 Posted 08/10/2017 at 11:38:48
I take you point.
Could a Lookman Giroud swap be on the cards.
If Koeman is still with us in January? what chance has Lookman got, especially when Bolasie is back.
I despair for the lad.
As for Walsh, I think he believes his own hype at his marvellous signings, and his success at Leicester. They may be for the future, but its the here and now thats worrying.
52 Posted 08/10/2017 at 12:01:38
53 Posted 08/10/2017 at 12:28:51
54 Posted 08/10/2017 at 12:49:31
Which makes me wonder even more, what does Walsh actually do.
He spent a couple of weeks in Italy during the window, what did that produce?
55 Posted 08/10/2017 at 13:02:53
I heard that the year Tranmere fell out the league, their budget for the whole club that year was £900,000. I reckon Everton's budget for their accademy would be at least 5 times that figure.
Surely the next step in English football, is for the bigger clubs to take one of these smaller clubs under there umbrella, and help them out financially, in return for good young players, or somewhere for their young pro's to play competitive football, to help bring them along?
So much money is being wasted at the top of the game, simply because clubs, have got money to waste, whilst the bottom two leagues struggle like fuck to keep going.
Is it any wonder that there is such little honesty or loyalty, left in the game of professional football?
56 Posted 08/10/2017 at 14:02:12
57 Posted 08/10/2017 at 14:20:47
First criteria when scouting a player. Simple question, does have pace?
Rooney will pick out the runs of pacy players, as will Siggurdson. Even Schneiderlin.
New signings with pace will improve the team no end. Along with the return of Coleman and Bolasie.
58 Posted 08/10/2017 at 14:39:32
John G, yes Lookman is not our saviour but is capable of changing a game and producing a win out of a draw or defeat the way Niasse did the other week, in fact if he starts a game as a winger he will at the very least have us playing with width and give the opposition something to think about instead of just mopping up every attack we produce without breaking sweat, he could also use Vlasic and Lennon this way and if we are really desperate ( which we could be very soon) put Martina on in that position from the subs bench, anyone but Mirallis. !!!
59 Posted 08/10/2017 at 15:17:36
60 Posted 08/10/2017 at 15:21:06
I think he has got a chance of being a good player.
Wrong atmosphere at the moment at Goodison.
Crowd are all over any mistakes, a player like Lookman will always make mistakes due to the way his type plays.
It can either make or break them.
61 Posted 08/10/2017 at 15:24:57
Lennon is useless and is yet to have a decent game for us. If it was pace alone that did the trick Delafoue would still be here. Lennon was finished when Spurs lumbered us with him. Not good enough for Spurs then not good enough for us I would hope. As for Lookman he has fallen out big time with Koeman but didn't pull up any trees when he did get a chance early in the season.
Barking up the wrong tree with those two players mate. If we are to be where the dopey new owner promised us then we need proven quality not has been and may be good players.
62 Posted 08/10/2017 at 15:33:44
63 Posted 08/10/2017 at 15:41:50
Couldn't agree more
Earlier this year Koeman was telling us Lookman was "the future of the club"
Telling a kid that, then freezing him out will damage his confidence far more than any crowd could.
There is a growing trend of people blaming the crowd for Koemans shortcomings, but it isn't he crowd who have repeatedly overlooked this kid when others have been stinking the place out.
I have heard nothing but support for this kid. The crowd are desperate for him to find his form and start flying past defenders like we know he can.
Lets hope they can cope with the excitement if it happens. Thrills and spills have been a little thin on the ground lately
64 Posted 08/10/2017 at 16:15:15
When did he say that?
65 Posted 08/10/2017 at 16:18:36
66 Posted 08/10/2017 at 16:19:30
67 Posted 08/10/2017 at 16:20:33
I don't know how much of the Under 20 W.C. you managed to see but Lookman was excellent. I mentioned on here a while back that he has the vision to slot into the middle and would do a better job than some of the players who have played there this season.Mind you, so could we.
Lookman has tremendous ability and should be given more opportunities to shine. He had a poor game against Split and has been overlooked since. Shame on Koeman for that.
68 Posted 08/10/2017 at 16:37:54
He's played four times for the first eleven this season Tony, none of them in the league, so it is patently obvious Koeman doesn't trust him in important games.
By the way on another Everton web there is a rumour Sammy Lee is about to be appointed coach with Duncan Ferguson going back to the U23's, could be a massive wind up, could be a big help to Everton if it is true.
69 Posted 08/10/2017 at 16:44:01
70 Posted 08/10/2017 at 16:49:45
Note. "but fans will have to be patient"
71 Posted 08/10/2017 at 18:06:45
So its the fans fault again???
The manager has frozen him out but its the fans who have to be patient? You couldn't make it up!!!
72 Posted 08/10/2017 at 18:07:58
74 Posted 08/10/2017 at 18:28:49
People keep talking about Mirallas, Deufelou and Lennon who are/were nowhere near good enough. I'd keep Barkley, but I wouldn't build a team around him.
There's plenty in the players we bought. They need to be set up properly and let off the leash
75 Posted 08/10/2017 at 18:48:30
79 Posted 08/10/2017 at 19:13:15
81 Posted 08/10/2017 at 19:22:56
I hope this rumour is true as I think Sammy has proved he is a very good coach, and it has echo's of Colin Harvey being appointed by Kendall which helped Everton and Howard to move forward in a very big way.
83 Posted 08/10/2017 at 19:33:23
Sammy would be a good fit for us.
I hope it's true.
85 Posted 08/10/2017 at 19:38:28
Maybe Duncan, is going to pair-up with Unsworth, to see how they go for the future? Although I'd prefer to see Stubbs, with Unsworth in the future, if we are to go down that road?
86 Posted 08/10/2017 at 19:47:30
Didn't like him then did you mate: but you are correct he is a proper football man Sammy from 'the Bully'
91 Posted 08/10/2017 at 20:13:39
95 Posted 08/10/2017 at 20:28:48
Oh Darren my opinion on what Steve Walsh said. Yeah, probably right in relation to a mediocre England team. Pickford staying at Everton? Nobody knows.
I could turn it into an opinion on Koeman but I have absolutely nothing NEW to add to that debate. Absolutely bloody nothing. Know the feeling?
102 Posted 09/10/2017 at 07:26:43
A few Blues I know who lived in and around the Bully won't have a word said against Sammy.
103 Posted 09/10/2017 at 09:07:29
104 Posted 09/10/2017 at 12:44:35
105 Posted 12/10/2017 at 19:47:20
How about this: the longer a player doesn't get on the pitch, the more unfair the criticism of him becomes?
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