Darren Bent is unsure if Jordan Pickford has what it takes to be England’s number one with the European Championships on the horizon.
Bent weighed in on the goalkeeping debate on talkSPORT on Monday evening.
Pickford was ruled out of this week’s World Cup qualifiers after picking up a rib injury. Burnley’s Nick Pope has stepped in and continued his 100% record for clean sheets in an England shirt.
Dean Henderson, who has started Manchester United’s last three Premier League games in the absence of David de Gea, and West Brom’s Sam Johnstone were also called up.
‘You need calm heads at the Euros’
Bent praised Pickford’s distribution but has concerns over his temperament.
“If I had to put them in order, I’d probably go Henderson, Pope, Pickford,” Bent said.
“I do like Pickford but I think he gets a little bit over-emotional. His distribution is second to none though, he can kick the ball far. But I think in situations like the World Cup or the Euros you need calm heads.
“It’s a difficult one because we know he’s never let Gareth Southgate down.”
Pickford has conceded 29 goals in 23 Premier League outings this season (via FB Ref).
Those goals have come from a post-shot xG of 27.3, which means he’s slightly under-delivered.
He was in improved form prior to his injury though, with three well-earned clean sheets in four matches.
Transfer Tavern verdict
Bent acknowledges that Pickford hasn’t yet let Southgate down, but is that suitable justification?
Perhaps the Sunderland-born goalkeeper is effectively a ticking time bomb.
England should view themselves as genuine contenders at the Euros, but it’s hard to believe they’ll go all the way if they place their faith in an erratic goalkeeper.
In other news, fans were excited by Fabrizio Romano’s Everton tweet.
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