Anyone who watched Everton last season would have seen just how much promise goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has between the sticks, and any doubters just needed to witness his displays for England at the World Cup to see his true talent.
The former Sunderland man has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past 12 months, going from being part of a struggling Toffees outfit to a leader at the back, picking up the club’s player of the year award and being Gareth Southgate’s first choice between the sticks in Russia.
However, with his outstanding displays, he seems to have picked up plenty of attention, and there are a number of Premier League, as well as European, rivals who are looking at new shot stoppers this summer.
Liverpool signed Alisson Becker from Roma for a world record fee, but fans can be sure that if Pickford was not already in the blue half of Merseyside, the Reds would have been sniffing around.
Further south, Chelsea are reportedly looking for a potential replacement for Thibaut Courtois, the Belgian heading into the final year of his contract, and while Pickford has been mentioned by the Evening Standard as a potential target, it looks as though another giant Englishman could be heading to Stamford Bridge.
Sky Sports claim on their Twitter account and website state that Stoke City’s 6’4″ colossus (source: Transfermarkt) Jack Butland is among the candidates to take Courtois’ place in London, and that should be music to the ears of the Toffees.
After missing out on Alisson Becker, Sky sources understand Chelsea are looking at Jack Butland as a possible replacement for Thibaut Courtois, should the Belgian leave the club.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) July 23, 2018
Chelsea are one of the few clubs who could not only afford Pickford but offer him something that Everton cannot in the shape of European football and more exposure on the world stage.
While Chelsea might not be in the Champions League, the Europa League is still more than Everton have at hand, and the chance for silverware is much greater with the Blues and Maurizio Sarri.
As such, the hunt for Butland is a major boost for the Toffees, and they will be urging their Premier League rivals to poach the Potters for their star man.