What Jordan Pickford’s Exit Could Mean for Sunderland

Jordan Pickford

Jordan Pickford has completed a big-money move to Everton following an impressive individual season with Sunderland. The deal is reported to be £30 million, a monumental fee for such a young player but he has the potential to make that deal feel like a bargain.

So having undergone a medical with The Toffees how will his boyhood side cope with such a significant loss?

Despite a lacklustre season, with torrid being an understatement for the North East side, Pickford was a standout performer for them.

In a season where a chocolate fireguard would have been better than the Sunderland defence, Pickford managed to keep four clean sheets, make 146 saves (2nd highest in the league), save 75% of shots faced (3rd highest) and produce 19 punches (4th highest). He will travel to Poland with the Under 21s English National team side full of confidence.

It comes as no surprise then that Sunderland were unable to keep the bigger teams from sniffing around their prized asset. The offer was too big to turn down, and he is far too talented to drop back down to the Championship.

Therefore, Everton is the perfect destination to play as they have goalkeeping struggles of their own. With Maarten Stekelenburg and Joel Robles unable to impress Ronald Koeman, it means that Pickford would be the immediate number one.

That is all well and good for Everton but what about Sunderland? Who do they have to ease their goalkeeping woes? Well, they currently have former Arsenal player Vito Mannone and 3rd choice Swiss-born Mika on their books, both of whom will be looking to impress their new manager in pre-season to ensure that they grab the number one jersey.

Mannone deputised nine times last season when the departing Pickford was unavailable and did not fill the Stadium of Light faithful with a huge amount of confidence.

In those nine games, he conceded 19 goals; a far from impressive stat. However, having gained Championship experience with Hull City and massively aiding them to gain promotion to the Premier League in 2012, he may still have a major role to play at the club.

Mika, on the other hand, failed to play an official game last season for The Black Cats. He joined the club at the start of the previous campaign from Portuguese side Boavista but has yet to make an impression at the club.

Nonetheless, having attracted attention from former champions Leicester last summer, he could be used a lot more this season.

As you can see a goalkeeper will be top of the list for the new incoming manager and the club have already been linked with a couple; even without a boss in charge.

They have recently been linked with Manchester United player Sam Johnstone, who spent half the season out on loan at Aston Villa.

Sunderland are clearly a team in disarray at the moment; even their manager situation could hit a huge snag! It has just been a disaster for the club who have lacked serious investment over the past few seasons and now they will need to replace their two best players (Pickford and Defoe) before the start of next season.

Chairman Ellis Short needs to use the funds at his disposal and take a leaf out of rivals Newcastle’s book by investing the money sensibly to bounce straight back up at the first time of asking. If they do not, they could see themselves tumble down the leagues just as Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic and Blackpool have done.


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