Everton have reached a ‘verbal agreement’ that Jordan Pickford will be able to leave if the Merseyside club are relegated to the Championship this season, as per CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs.
What’s the latest on Pickford at Everton?
The £38m-rated stalwart is said to be hopeful of a move away from the Toffees if they are to be relegated.
The 29-year-old goalkeeper had signed a contract with the Toffees in February this year and, while there is no official relegation release clause in the contract, it has been agreed that he will be allowed to leave if they do face the drop.
As per Jacobs’ latest column for Caught Offside, there is interest from Chelsea in Pickford, as they also look at Brentford’s David Raya and Brighton’s Robert Sanchez.
How would losing Pickford affect Everton?
Since signing the Washington-born goalkeeper from Sunderland in 2017 for £30m, he has become an imperative part of the Toffees’ defence.
Pickford, once described as “outstanding” by teammate James Tarkowski, has made 209 Premier League appearances for Everton out of a possible 219, which showcases his reliability in Sean Dyche’s side and how he has been trusted by every manager the club have enlisted to lead them during this period.
The £100k-per-week giant has been impressive for the relegation-threatened side even though they have conceded the sixth most goals this season. The former Sunderland goalkeeper has a post-shot expected goals minus goals allowed of 3.1 this season – meaning that he has prevented 3.1 goals more than he should have, as per FBref.
While this may not seem like much, when broken down into per 90 minutes, this is 0.11 goals per game. Over the course of the season, this means that Pickford would have saved 4.18 expected goals, which could be the difference between survival or relegation for Everton.
Everton losing their 6-foot talisman is only likely if they do face the drop from the Premier League. However, the club are also facing losing Amadou Onana, who has been integral for them this season.
According to Het Niewsblad, Arsenal have retained their interest in the Dakar-born Belgium international and have been in constant contact leading up to the summer transfer window.
Losing both of their star players will be a tremendous blow for the Toffees, especially as there is potential for more of their big names to leave following relegation.
If they are to lose their players, the Merseyside club may have a saving grace in the summer due to the revenue that will be brought in to fund a rebuild under Dyche.