England goalkeeping great David Seaman insists Jordan Pickford is indisputably this country’s outstanding number one.
Pickford was polished in shutting out Croatia as England began their European Championship finals campaign with a controlled 1-0 victory at Wembley on Sunday.
The Everton player made his senior international debut in November 2017, five months after swapping Sunderland for Goodison Park, and duly established himself as first-pick for the Three Lions.
Pickford has 15 clean sheets from 32 England appearances and is entering his second major tournament after starring in England’s World Cup semi-final run three years ago.
His competition in the current set up comes from Manchester United’s Dean Henderson and Sam Johnstone of West Bromwich Albion.
But, in the view of Seaman, capped 75 times in a 14-year England career, Pickford is rightly the man in possession of the national team’s gloves.
“Jordan is definitely my number one,” said Seaman.
“What I like about Jordan… he has a good confidence about himself.
“If he does make a mistake, he reacts positively.
“He can carry on and be the same goalkeeper, it doesn’t affect him.
“He gets on with the game and that is a really good trait for a goalkeeper.
“We all make mistakes and it is about how you deal with it.
“He is definitely England’s number one and has never let them down.”
Pickford returned from a short injury layoff to finish the season in sparkling touch for Everton.
He produced a series of flawless displays to keep four clean sheets in eight matches, carrying that form into the England camp with a shutout in a friendly win over Austria before Sunday’s success against Croatia.
England play their second European Championship game against Scotland on Friday – roughly 25 years to the day since the teams last met at Wembley in the competition.
Seaman, who retired from international football in 2002, saved a penalty from Gary McAllister in a 2-0 victory on that day.
It was a first of four major international competitions for the ex-Arsenal keeper, with Pickford now halfway to that total.
The 27-year-old Everton number one reckons he is a better player than the one who shone at the 2018 World Cup, talking in advance of the Croatia game about attention to nutrition and gym work.
Additionally, Pickford, who has played 162 times for Everton, reasserted the value of working with a sports psychologist after beginning the process last year.
“We did little bits of that type of thing [working on mental aspect of football] but it was more as a team,” said Seaman.
“We never did it individually.
“If it helps, then do it.
“If you don’t try it, you will never know.
“I will always say to people, ‘Have a little chat, it might work, it might not’.
“But don’t be afraid of it.”