Jordan Pickford has been confirmed as Gareth Southgate's first-choice goalkeeper for the World Cup Finals in Russia this month following the release of England's squad numbers for the tournament.
The Everton goalkeeper and the club's Player of the Season, has been listed as number one on the 23-man roster, with Stoke City stopper Jack Butland and Nick Pope of Burnley handed numbers 13 and 23 respectively.
Shirt numbers aren't necessarily a concrete indicator of preference but Southgate admitted after Saturday's friendly against Nigeria in which Pickford played the full 90 minutes that the Toffees' star is likely to be the one in goal when the Three Lions' kick off the group phase of their campaign against Tunisia.
“I was really pleased with what Jordan did,” Southgate said.“ His decision-making on crosses, the punch he made, his distribution and calmness to slide passes into midfield… that was really important to the way we want to play.”
“There was a bit of a statement with the selection of Jordan.”
It means that Pickford, who went straight into Everton's first team last July following his big-money move from Sunderland, will wear the Number 1 jersey for his country at the World Cup despite having earned only three caps to date.
Like many of the 2018 World Cup jerseys (the likes of Nigeria aside!), the home nation has opted for simplicity with the outfield players in all white and the goalkeepers in bright yellow on which Pickford will sport the same number as he does back at Goodison Park.
While four years ago in Brazil, the club was represented by Ross Barkley, Phil Jagielka, and Leighton Baines, Pickford is the only current Everton player in England's squad this time.
Ex-Blue John Stones is in the 23 and has been given the number 5 jersey and former Everton reserves defender Eric Dier has number 4. Harry Kane will wear number 9, Raheem Sterling the number 10 made famous by Gary Lineker at previous World Cups.
The other two representatives from Goodison playing in Russia this summer will be Iceland's Gylfi Sigurdsson and Senegal's Idrissa Gueye. Sigurdsson played 27 minutes of his country's 3-2 defeat to Norway over the weekend, his first action since damaging a knee in Everton's win over Brighton in March.
England squad numbers:
- Jordan Pickford (Everton)
- Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
- Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur)
- John Stones (Manchester City)
- Harry Maguire (Leicester City)
- Jesse Lingard (Manchester United)
- Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
- Harry Kane (captain, Tottenham Hotspur)
- Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
- Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
- Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Jack Butland (Stoke City)
- Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)
- Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
- Phil Jones (Manchester United)
- Fabian Delph (Manchester City)
- Ashley Young (Manchester United)
- Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
- Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea)
- Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
- Nick Pope (Burnley)
Reader Comments (12)
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1 Posted 04/06/2018 at 20:18:22
2 Posted 04/06/2018 at 21:34:49
In fact, maybe Germany are already trying to get into his head with that Bayern Munich interest thing.
3 Posted 04/06/2018 at 21:40:20
Anyone who can leave Jack Wilshere out the way he was playing is beyond me. Even Pickford has a way to go to prove he can be as good as, say, Gordon Banks and the like.
Southgate has his blue-eyed boys and playing for the Manchester clubs or Spurs certainly helps get you picked.
4 Posted 04/06/2018 at 21:48:38
5 Posted 04/06/2018 at 23:30:47
In any case, he is probably the best keeper England have, so well done.,
6 Posted 05/06/2018 at 00:06:14
If they played for any other clubs, they would never get near the England squad.
7 Posted 05/06/2018 at 01:19:44
You've got the talent, shine at the World Cup, kid.
9 Posted 05/06/2018 at 22:50:03
"Pickford has a fair bit of talent but he could vary his service. Maybe he's been under instructions to boot it as far as he can. I'd like to see him spend another year working on crosses and stand up more on one-on-ones. But he's been the best English goalkeeper this season because I don't think Jack Butland has played enough.
"I like him because he's calm but I'd go with Pickford. My only concern is that Pickford's always been busy because he's played in teams with shit defences. If he spends 80-odd minutes doing nothing has he the concentration to suddenly make a good save?”
10 Posted 05/06/2018 at 23:35:53
11 Posted 06/06/2018 at 15:13:49
Southgate is a total gobshite so at least the FA is on point there.
The Belgians are so loaded they left out Origi and Benteke. We're taking Alexander-Arnold and Welbeck. Nuff said.
12 Posted 08/06/2018 at 16:48:20
Presumably each coach would have his own way of thinking – what area outside the box to patrol, whether to come for crosses or leave them to his defenders etc. So to what extent can the keeper stick with what he feels most assured in doing? We don't want him becoming the next Joe Hart, someone who most definitely did lose his confidence and general abilities under a succession of different coaches.
Steve (#9) earlier in this thread quotes Big Nev on Pickford; it would be interesting to know his views on the role and value (if any) in specialist keeper coaches.
13 Posted 15/06/2018 at 17:16:50
A sorry state of affairs that this England position doesn't have other options.
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