The Lowdown: Pickford injury
As confirmed by the club’s official website, the 28-year-old has been ruled out until after the international break with a thigh injury that he picked up in the 0-0 draw at home to Merseyside rivals Liverpool in the Premier League last weekend.
The England international goalkeeper has undergone medical investigations this week, and it is hoped that he will now make a swift recovery.
The Latest: Whelan reacts
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan has claimed that losing Pickford is ‘huge’, adding that it will come as ‘really tough’ news for Frank Lampard and Everton ahead of their next set of fixtures.
The 47-year-old said: “It’s huge. Looking back to the Liverpool game – without him between the sticks, they probably would have lost that game.
“The fact that he’s wearing the armband is a factor as well. He’s a real voice out there on the pitch and in the dressing room.
“I think any team would miss a goalkeeper of that calibre, he’s comfortably England’s number one. It’ll be a really tough one for Frank Lampard and the players to take.
“They’re still looking for that first win, and Pickford is one of the players they’ll have been leaning on to make it happen because of his experience.”
The Verdict: Big blow
Of course, it is such a big blow for the Toffees to lose their number one goalkeeper in Pickford for a number of weeks.
He received high praise for his role in shutting out Liverpool last week, and despite the Blues failing to win in the Premier League this season, he has done his part by conceding just six goals in his opening six games.
Nonetheless, third-choice goalkeeper Andy Lonergan is also injured as well, leaving Everton with just Asmir Begovic as a senior ‘keeper to call upon at the moment.
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