Chelsea have been put on high alert concerning the future of a touted target following recent reports, but the Blues will face stiff competition from Premier League competitors…
What’s the word?
According to the Daily Mail, Everton and England No. 1 shot-stopper Jordan Pickford has not yet sealed a new contract with the Merseyside outfit, despite agreeing on an extension before jetting off to Qatar for World Cup duty.
Such revelations have piqued Chelsea boss Graham Potter’s interest, although the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have also registered an intrigue in acquiring his signature.
With his current deal set for expiry in the summer of 2024, Everton will likely be looking to cash in on their coveted keeper before the start of next season at the latest if a renewal indeed fails to materialise.
Pickford is better than Mendy
Due to Everton’s woes over the past several seasons, certain casual observers would be forgiven for lamenting Pickford for his role in the club’s decline.
The £24.8m-rated ace was central to the team that shipped 66 goals over the course of the 21/22 campaign, playing 35 of the 38 league outings, but despite a leaky defence that needed reinforcing, the Englishman’s performances maintained a level of respect.
Signed for Everton for £30m from Sunderland in 2018, Pickford made 117 saves in the English top-flight last term, and his 62 parries this year is bettered only by Brentford’s David Raya.
A large proportion of his side’s woes lay in the hands of the shoddy defence in front of him, failing to deal with threats and offer protection that is imperative in order to thrive in the Premier League.
Should Chelsea instigate a transfer, it is felt that Pickford might thrive in the hands of a more capable defence, with an upturn in performance this season already illuminated by Toffees boss Frank Lampard’s action in the transfer market to reshape the defence with the likes of Conor Coady and James Tarkowski.
Pickford would be a sterling improvement on the likes of Edouard Mendy, who has failed to replicate the resounding form that earned him the regular spot following his £22m move from Rennes in 2020.
Will Chelsea sign Pickford?
As per Sofascore, the 28-year-old Pickford has recorded an average rating of 7.19 over the current league campaign, dazzling with an impressive 77% save percentage and keeping three clean sheets, also displaying his ball-playing acumen with a fine long-ball assist for Demarai Gray’s late equaliser against Nottingham Forest.
Mendy, in retrospect, has recorded a poor rating of 6.69, failing to demonstrate his prowess and consequently being demoted from his position in the team, with Kepa Arrizabalaga stepping up to the plate.
His save percentage of 68% is bettered by Pickford, with the Senegalese shot-stopper also making a direct error leading to goal.
And with both goalkeepers shipping goals at a rate of 1.3 per match this season, Pickford’s presence is highlighted – with Everton scraping for form at the bottom of the table, one can only imagine the upturn if situated at Stamford Bridge among world-class defenders.
Once dubbed a “monster” by journalist Joe Crann, the 50-cap English colossus would be a fine addition to the Blues, and Potter must finally give him the move to prominence he deserves after years of stalwart service for Everton.