Pickford: Competition Will Bring Best Out Of Forwards

by Peter Lennox

Sam Allardyce’s January signings have ramped up competition for places in Everton's attack, says Jordan Pickford.

And the Blues keeper believes that can be crucial for the season's run-in, starting away at Watford on Saturday.

The Everton boss brought in Turkey international Cenk Tosun from Besiktas and England's Theo Walcott from Arsenal last month to bolster his forward options, with Pickford revealing the duo have been "brilliant" for other attackers such as Dominic Calvert-Lewin to learn from.

The England shot-stopper also feels their talents can boost the Blues for their final 11 Premier League games of the 2017/18 campaign, with Allardyce's side sitting just two points off seventh-placed Burnley in the table.

“[The new signings] are brilliant for the likes of Dom [Calvert-Lewin] and the other lads because it is more competition," said Pickford. “That is how players get better.

"You cannot fall into a comfort zone because you will never get better. You have to work hard on the training pitch and always find ways to improve.

“The more competition we have, I believe it will make us a more successful side."

Walcott has made a fine start to his Everton career – scoring both goals in the 2-1 win over Leicester City on 31 January and catching the eye with his pace, energy and work-rate.

Oumar Niasse's impressive form has seen the Senegalese get the nod to spearhead Everton's attack in recent weeks - but Pickford says Tosun is doing everything right to stake his claim.

“I did not know what he would be like aerially (when he first signed)," said the 23-year-old. "But I was kicking the ball up and he was winning his share of battles.

“The lads were putting balls in the box and he got on the end of a few of them with headers as well. That is promising.

"They have settled in quickly as new signings and everyone has to help them feel welcome. That is the type of club Everton is – when I first came to the Club I was made to feel welcome straight away.”

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