Some of Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s performances have been “astonishingly good” over the last few months.
That is the view of The Athletic’s Greg O’Keeffe, who was speaking on the All Together Now podcast about the latest news from Goodison Park.
Everton revealed on their official Twitter account that the Toffees could be without Pickford until after the international break, with the England goalkeeper picking up a thigh strain injury in their 0-0 stalemate with Liverpool in their last Premier League fixture.
An impressive performance in that draw with their Merseyside rivals earned the former Sunderland shot-stopper the Player of the Match award after he made multiple vital saves to preserve a point and clean sheet for Frank Lampard’s side.
Pickford’s performance against Liverpool led to O’Keeffe lauding the Everton No 1’s performances over the last few months, with the panel discussing whether he is the Toffees’ best goalkeeper since Neville Southall.
He said: “Some of his performances over the last couple of seasons like Chelsea last season and the derby were astonishingly good, weren’t they?
“The volume of saves he’s making, the difficulty of saves – just the different types of stops. Like the one against Chelsea last season where he’s getting back across his goalline and taking balls in the face and having that speed he showed to get from one post to the other.
“And then there’s the different types when he’s just getting his fingertips to absolutely amazing shots, that in any other Premier League game, are probably going in.
“Is he up there with Nev? It’s a big shout.”
TIF Thoughts on O’Keeffe’s comments…
We believe that O’Keeffe’s praise of Pickford’s performances is entirely justified, with his displays since the arrival of Frank Lampard, who labelled the goalkeeper as “superb” following the Liverpool draw, including some of his most memorable moments in Everton colours.
Pickford has been named captain in each of his six Premier League appearances this season and has earned himself an average Premier League SofaScore rating of 7.47 for the current season, ranking him as the best-performing member of the Everton team, showing how important he is to Lampard’s side.
We therefore agree with O’Keeffe and think that the 45-time England international has been in exceptional form for the latter stages of the last season and beginning of the current campaign – and the club will hope that the goalkeeper can return to full fitness as soon as possible.
As for the claim he is the club’s best ‘keeper since Southall, although Pickford has some way to go before matching the Welshman’s trophy haul at Goodison Park, we feel he is certainly up there with the best to follow in his footsteps for his efforts in keeping the Toffees up last season alone.