Former England international Paul Robinson has questioned the chances of Gareth Southgate axing Everton’s Jordan Pickford ahead of Euro 2020.
Pickford has come in for a lot of criticism following his error at the weekend that allowed Christian Benteke to pull Crystal Palace level, before goals from Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin sealed a 3-1 win over the Eagles.
Errors are not something all that rare for Pickford, and it has been suggested that his number one status in the England fold should be at risk following his latest blunder.
Southgate decided against dropping Pickford after a catastrophic performance against Newcastle United last season, having already seen the 25-year-old appear badly exposed against Kosovo during England’s Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
Pickford would remain between the sticks until the final match of the qualifying stages when Nick Pope stood in against Kosovo, ending a ten-game run for the Everton man in goal.
But Robinson doubts Southgate will look anywhere but Pickford when naming his next England side, with the Three Lions welcoming Italy and Denmark to Wembley next month for pre-tournament friendlies.
“Personally, I think his stock at international level, I think he’s got quite a bit of credit in the bank,” Robinson told Football Insider. “He’s the number one at the moment.
“Tom Heaton, very unfortunately, has picked up a bad injury that will keep him out for the season, but he was playing outstandingly well, and he was probably his nearest contender. Nick Pope’s probably not at the top of his game playing in a Burnley team that have struggled of late.
“[Dean] Henderson at Sheffield United, he’s probably playing the best out of the England goalkeepers at the moment, but do you take the risk of an inexperienced, uncapped ‘keeper going into a major tournament? You don’t.
“I think it gives Pickford the edge at the moment. He’s got the experience, he’s got the jersey and I think, for me, he’s the number one.”
Is Pickford worthy of being England's #1?
Pickford’s place between the Three Lions’ sticks has come into question following yet another calamitous moment from the 25-year-old, who labelled his own error at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday as “disgusting”.
Benteke was able to score past the £30million ‘keeper at the former Sunderland man’s near post, with the ball rolling under him at a pace Pickford would have been expected to deal with the danger at.
This was not the first time that Pickford has left much to be admired, either, after producing an error-strewn display at Newcastle last season when the occasion got to him.
Only Arsenal’s Bernd Leno and Bournemouth’s Asmir Begovic (five) made more errors that led to goals during Premier League games than Pickford (four) last term, too, while the Washington-born shot-stopper is now on two for the current campaign – the second-most in the top-flight.