Everton

Stoke City’s relegation could determine World Cup hopes of Everton’s £18m-rated lynchpin

The Everton fans in the Transfer Tavern have been delighted the performances of Jordan Pickford so far this season and they are hoping he will be rewarded for his fine form with a starting berth at the World Cup this summer. 

Jordan Pickford (valued at £18 million by Transfermarkt) has been one of Everton’s standout performers in a relatively disappointing campaign for the club. The fact he collected all three Player of the Season awards at Everton’s end of season ceremony speaks volumes about his importance to the Toffees after just one full season on Merseyside, and he will be hoping his fine form is enough to secure the England number one shirt in Russia.

Pickford’s main rival for the shirt appears to be Jack Butland following another mistake-filled campaign for Joe Hart who is effectively out of the running at this stage. However, Butland suffered relegation with Stoke City last weekend following the Potters 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace at the bet365 Stadium, and that fact could prove to be pivotal in Southgate’s decision making process.

Although the England manager’s decision should be based purely on individual merit, Butland’s relegation from the top flight puts him in a difficult situation. Providing he recovers from injury in time, Germany will presumably chose to start Manuel Neuer in goal out of their incredible breadth of options and Brazil will have both Ederson and Alisson at their disposal – all players who are established stoppers for high quality clubs.

If England want to compete on that level, they simply cannot afford to set the tone for a major tournament by opting to start a goalkeeper who has just suffered relegation from the top-flight. Of course, it must be considered that Pickford suffered relegation with Sunderland last season, but he was uncapped at the time and had only just turned 23-years-of-age.

Stoke’s relegation cannot be pinned on Butland as his outfield players have let him down this season, but unfortunately his side’s relegation should swing Southgate’s decision. Based on the performances of Pickford and Butland this season it’s fair to say that Everton’s star player deserves the nod this summer – Stoke’s relegation will simply serve to reinforce that notion.

Everton fans – thoughts? Let us know below!

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