Everton will soon have to bite the bullet and tackle the Jordan Pickford situation.
The 25-year-old is the most expensive English goalkeeper ever.
One is an all-time good, one is a back-to-back Premier League name winner, one is a continental treble winner and the other managed to dethrone David de Gea as Spain’s No.1, even however he’s currently under stress at Chelsea.
Pickford, on the other hand, is clinging onto his place as England’s first-choice keeper before the 2020 European Championships. The Toffees should seriously be considering replacing him in the not too distant future.
The Sunderland-born stopper was not directly to blame for Newcastle United’s stirring stoppage-time comeback at Goodison Park. But his placement, standing behind the line, led to the Magpies grabbing a late equaliser.
In isolation, it is frustrating. But this is the most recent in a long line of accidents involving the sticks for Pickford. The club is suffering from this.
Had Everton managed to hold on against Steve Bruce’s team they would have climbed to eighth in the table, only three points behind Manchester United who occupy fifth place.
It is not the first time Pickford has played a substantial role in Everton falling points from a winning position against Newcastle. Ayoze Pérez scored a brace with his first coming after Pickford parried an attempt directly into his path.
Pickford has also been responsible for reductions against Liverpool and Manchester City while Manchester United claimed a stage courtesy of a fortuitous Mason Greenwood effort. It was well struck but a shooter Pickford could have been expected to repel.
According to their anticipated goals against (xGA) metric, Everton have surrendered four goals more than they should have. That makes the Toffees among nine Premier League teams to have sent more than they should have, however only four teams have surrendered over four more.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are adequate defensively. With a much better keeper, the Toffees will be looking up the table rather than supporting them.
Saves are occasionally used as a means to judge a keeper. But anticipated goals against is the perfect method to analyse performance. Pickford’s 64 percent save ratio sets him in the bottom five in the Premier League. For instance, Alisson is saving more than 80 percent of the shots he faces while Dean Henderson, the guy challenging Pickford for England’s No.1 jersey, keeps out nearly 75 percent of the shots he has come up against.
In actuality, Everton could well turn to Henderson to address their problem. He is impressed on loan in Sheffield United but is not likely to substitute De Gea at Old Trafford anytime soon. Manchester United may seem to sell him insert a buyback clause in a bargain. If that is true, the Toffees should be from the conversation to signal him.
His exploits in goal for Chris Wilder’s team signifies the Blades are eight goals better off than they ought to be, per their xGA. He is making big saves on a regular basis and, bar his expensive mistake against Liverpool, the 22-year-old has been faultless throughout his eponymous Premier League campaign.
He has shown himself to be a true difference-maker on several occasions. Another keeper who falls in that class is Lazio’s Thomas Strakosha.
Connected with Liverpool before they signed Alisson and Spurs as a possible substitute for Hugo Lloris, the 6ft 3in Albania international would not come cheap.
Believed to be valued at around €30million, Everton would need to match exactly what they spent Pickford to shield him, taking their total spend on goalkeepers to round the €60million mark, even though they would recover some of that if they offered their current No.1.
It’s a gamble. But decent goalkeeper does make a difference. If Everton want to drive for a European place that they require a trusted stopper. Until then, they are building on uneven ground and there is only 1 outcome