Mark Schwarzer believes Jordan Pickford is well on the way to becoming one of the best goalkeepers in the country.
The 23-year-old became the most expensive British glovesman of all time after completing a summer move to Everton from Sunderland for a fee that could reach £30million.
Despite a difficult start to the season on a collective level, Pickford has quickly taken to life in royal blue, winning over Evertonians and pundits with consistently excellent performances since his arrival on Merseyside.
Among his admirers is Premier League veteran Mark Schwarzer, who says the Toffees pulled off a significant coup in landing the England Under-21 international this summer.
“He has done really well and he was the stand-out player for Sunderland last season so it is no surprise that his signature was hotly contested and Everton were very fortunate to sign him,” said Schwarzer, who played for Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea and Sunday's opponents Leicester City during a 20-year stint in England’s top flight.
“Jordan is a very talented young goalkeeper, he’s tried and tested and he's proven in the Premier League now that he can play at this level.
“He is mentally resilient. It is very difficult because one thing you have to be very aware of as a goalkeeper is you can’t allow what is happening around you to knock your confidence. You have to continue to try to play your game the best possible way, keep confident and believe in your ability.
"There is no doubt he believes in his ability. I spoke with the assistant manager at Sunderland and he raved about the qualities he possessed, how confident he is as a young man, how good he is with the ball at his feet and how good a goalkeeper he is.
“There was no doubt for me that once he made the move he would settle in [at Everton].”
While already being among the best in his position, Pickford, according to Schwarzer, is certain to improve further and “grow organically” with the Toffees in the future.
“Jordan is a very talented, young English goalkeeper, who had a lot of work to do at Sunderland and took that chance to show what he can do,” added the Australian.
“He is going to grow organically with Everton and he’s going to have to gain more experience. So long as his progression goes on the same path that he has already shown, then there’s absolutely no reason why not he can’t become one of the best keepers in the country.”