If David de Gea decides NOT to sign a new contract with Manchester United this winter, Jordan Pickford will be the main target for the Red Devils. This potential offer would break Liverpool’s record for Alisson Becker, who they brought in this past summer.
With hopes to strengthen a continuously problematic defensive line, ‘The Mirror’ claims that United could offer £70 million to Everton for the English 24-year-old, who has often shown maturity and defensive attention similar to that of much more experienced goalkeepers. This value could shock the list of most expensive players in history, as Liverpool’s £66.8million fee stands at the top as the most expensive for a goalkeeper.
Pickford initially drew attention during the World Cup, when his aggressiveness and agility were reasons why England came in fourth. Before the competition, the decision to place Pickford in front of the goal was heavily opposed by English fans. Manager Gareth Southgate defended his choice by acknowledging the inexperience of the Everton keeper, but also expressing his trust in the gloves that eventually went on to surprise with difficult catches and passionate animation that garnered respect from teammates and the world.
Regardless of the reputation that Pickford carries, a £70 million transfer fee raises eyebrows. Is the Englishman worth more than any other keeper in history? Or, at least more than the closest comparable keeper — Alisson Becker?
In the 2018-2019 season, both players have started in all 13 EPL matches for their teams, events during which Liverpool has had eight clean sheet matches, and Everton has had only four. While Liverpool has conceded four goals, Everton has received a hefty figure of 15 goals per game, one of which has been considered to be Pickford’s fault by the Premier League website. Pickford has also managed 57 saves, making him one of the most efficient keepers in the EPL.
Of course, the fact that Liverpool’s defensive line is one of the best in the world has to be considered in the argument. While this could account for a lot of Becker’s pleasing performances, the Brazilian has already proven himself deserving of approval for the price that Liverpool gave him. At the same time, Pickford’s true worth remains to be seen. After all, urgency for more confident defending could have bumped up the figure by United as an unofficial early ‘booking’ of the keeper. With personal drama on his shoulders, Mourinho could bring in Pickford as the first change of a suffering defensive line that could indeed benefit this keeper’s desire to lead and succeed.
On Sunday, Everton will face Liverpool at Anfield, placing the keepers in front of each other in what is called ‘The Merseyside Derby’, amidst talks which will settle the question of who is the most valuable goalkeeper in history.
Source: The Mirror
Cover photo: footballwhispers.com
World Cup photo: news.sky.com
Becker photo: football-talk.co.uk
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