What They Said: Jordan Pickford

@Everton

Jordan Pickford broke an Everton and British record by signing for the Blues from Sunderland in a deal potentially worth £30million.
 
Despite the Black Cats’ relegation from the Premier League, the 23-year-old won plenty of plaudits for a mightily-impressive 2016/17 campaign on a personal level.
 
From Everton Giant Neville Southall to legendary former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, Pickford has been praised by many who have watched and worked with him.
 
Take a look at some of those opinions below.
 

 
Peter Shilton, who became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when he joined Stoke City from Leicester City for £325,000 in 1974, told BBC Radio 5 live: "This sort of money should be spent on goalkeepers.
 
"For someone like Jordan, who is young and has great potential, it does not seem a great fee.
 
"In the big scheme of things it is not a lot of money, considering how important the goalkeeping position is.
 
"It is second to a striker who scores 20 goals a season. You cannot have a really good side without a good goalkeeper."
 

 
Everton legend Neville Southall, tweeted before the deal was announced on evertonfc.com: “I think if we sign Pickford we have a bargain. What price saving 12 points a season? [He has the] potential to go all the way to world level.”
 



Pickford’s former Sunderland teammate, Jermain Defoe, hailed the 23-year-old as one of the best goalkeepers he has ever worked with, saying: “Jordan has been amazing and he has great potential. I have been singing his praises since the first time I saw him.
 
“I’ve spoken about the modern game and how teams want goalkeepers to play out from the back and he is up there at being able to do that.
 
“He is one of the best goalkeepers I have seen in my career.
 
“It is special for him to win the award [Young Player of the Year Award at the North East Football Writers’ Award for 2016], he still has a long way to go but for him the sky is the limit.”
 

 
Simon Grayson, who managed Pickford during his six-month loan spell at Preston North End, said: "The move will inspire him. The lad loves the attention - he will thrive on that without being big time.
 
“He is a really down-to-earth lad and is great to have around a club. I texted him the other day about my charity bike ride and straight away he donated to my just giving page.
 
“Jordan is vocal and he is a winner. He loves the pressure of being the best he can. He will be looking at the England situation at the moment and thinking the next port of call is to be England's number one.
 
"He has got all the ingredients but he would admit he still has to work on certain things. He is still young and there is room to develop. He is a willing learner and listener, he wants to stay out and be involved in training sessions.
 
"When the top clubs are looking for players and good keepers, they are looking for shot stoppers but also keepers with exceptional feet - and we said that he could have played outfield with the quality of his feet."
 

 
Ex-Southport manager Liam Watson, who came across a 17-year-old Pickford when he was on loan at Darlington, said: “When I first saw him on the pitch, in the warm-up, he looked about 12 but a former manager from the North East, Tony Lee, had told me the kid was special.
 
“On the night we [Southport] played really well and won 2-0 but all everyone was taking about after the games was ‘how good was the keeper?!’
 
“He was immense.
 
“I spoke to Nicky Law when he was taking him on loan at Alfreton and told him how impressive he was in that game. I know from Nicky, and his time at Preston, how highly both clubs and their fans rated him.
 
“As an Everton fan I am delighted because I think it’s a top signing.”
 

 
Former Preston North End teammate and fellow goalkeeper, Chris Kirkland, said: “Jordan comes out to take crosses and has an authority for someone still very young... As for his kicking, that is brilliant! I have never seen anyone kick a ball like he does.”
 

 
England Under-21s manager, Aidy Boothroyd, said: “Jordan is a terrific player and we’ve know that for a long time,” he said.
 
“He has been in the system a long time.
 
“He managed to win himself an opportunity at his club and became number one, while also doing really, really well for us at international level as well.”

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