ordan Pickford is on the move in a record-breaking move. Everton signed the Sunderland keeper to a five-year deal for a transfer fee of £25 million, with clauses that could drive the price up to £30 million. That’s good for an English record for a goalkeeper and third-most in the world for that position.
How good of a buy is is for the Toffees, though?
Despite being just 23, Pickford is already an adept shot-stopper. He made the second-most saves in the Premier League last season with 135, and he’s just as likely to get after a long-range shot as he is able to react to a snapshot from inside the six-yard box. Embroiled in a relegation scrap with Sunderland all season — a scrap the Black Cats ultimately lost — Pickford was one of the lone bright spots for the team.
His age also suggests he’s just scratching the surface of his potential, as most goalkeepers don’t peak until their mid-to-late 20s. At just over six feet tall, he’s able to command his box and can punch when necessary.
While Pickford did make the second-most saves in the Prem last season, he also only managed to keep four clean sheets. Granted, the flimsy Sunderland defense didn’t do him many favors, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. His age also shows when it comes to distribution, coming in at just a 50 percent success rate according to Squawka. That’s something that can be remedied, of course, but perhaps a bit more polish would be expected from England’s most expensive keeper.
Everton are banking on Pickford’s potential. The funny money in the Premier League makes the fee not quite as jaw-dropping, but it still causes pause. If Pickford continues his expected progression, though, the £30 million fee will be a drop in the bucket for the Premier League side. The big question here is whether or not Pickford is the “guy” that can help a team with Champions League aspirations. He’s never played in a competition of that stature, and actually only has 31 EPL appearances under his belt. So, the sample size is pretty small on the whole, but it’s hard not to like what’s been seen. Everton certainly did, and they moved quickly to lock up a player who they hope is their keeper of the next decade or so.