Jordan Pickford is an international star right now.
Covering the world sport media on a daily basis, we’re seeing the Everton goalkeeper pop up everywhere, and the praise is endless. There’s a huge amount of goodwill being shown towards the England team, and the goalkeeper is a big part of the story.
Given all of that it made sense for De Telegraaf to contact their good friend Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman was in charge at Everton when Pickford was signed and is clearly a fan of the player.
Asked if he’s enjoying watching Pickford at the World Cup, Koeman explained: “Yes, Jordan is undergoing a tremendous development. That is also the reason why we paid so much money for him at Everton last year. We knew that the amount could reach €30m.
“I also give credit to Steve Walsh, who has been very convinced of his talent for a long time. We stuck our neck out, because it remains a lot of money for such a young keeper, who was relegated with Sunderland.”
It’s nice to see Koeman giving praise to Walsh, especially in De Telegraaf. The Dutch newspaper have suggested more than once that Walsh’s failure to bring in a top striker was directly behind Everton’s struggles last season and the subsequent exit of their manager.
On initial impressions with Pickford, Koeman said: “In the first period with me, I saw that he was impetuous. But also that he had enormous qualities. We absolutely wanted a top keeper and he turned out to be one.
“In a short time he went ahead with leaps and bounds. Internally, we knew that he would be the goalkeeper of the national team within one year. Sometimes you have to be lucky. Joe Hart, England’s number one, ended up on the bench at West Ham United. Then the road was open to Jordan and he took his chance. He proved he could handle it.”
The Dutch newspaper wanted to know what role the coaching at Everton and Patrick Lodewijks had in Pickford’s development: “The two worked together great. Jordan took on everything that Patrick passed on to him. He is a training beast and wanted to do everything on the pitch to become the best. That is nice work for a goalkeeper coach.
“We also had to ‘educate’ him a bit in the top sport environment. He was a tad on the heavy side, now he looks very fit.”