Assessing the options for England's number one jersey at Euro 2020

The likes of Allison and Ederson are among the best goalkeepers in the world and have been consistently the best 'keepers in the Premier League for the last couple of seasons. Unfortunately for Gareth Southgate and England they cannot be picked in the England squad. English goalkeepers are often the subject of ridicule and many have caved under the pressure of representing their country at major finals. Euro 2020 is just a matter of months away and with speculation around the starting spot of Jordan Pickford between the sticks, despite impressing at the World Cup; I am going to look at the four options Southgate will likely have to choose from come June. If not for a season ending injury to Tom Heaton he may well have been in this discussion. 

England Goalkeepers
Henderson, Pickford and Pope
Picture: dailymail.co.uk


Jordan Pickford 

25 year old Pickford has taken a bit of flak for his performances at Everton this season and his whoscored rating of 6.36 in the Premier League gives fuel to that opinion. The Everton 'keeper has eight clean sheets from 31 appearances in all competitions at time of writing. An argument can be made on his behalf with the team unsettled towards the end of Marco Silva's reign but there is no doubt Pickford can sometimes be lacking in his concentration during games. Most goalkeepers are prone to a mistake or two but being England number one leads to every mistake being closely scrutinized. The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti may well be the catalyst for a settled back four and a more confident Jordan Pickford between the sticks. His experience at the previous World Cup and the fact he still has plenty of room for development at 25 with 24 caps to his name may see him given the nod ahead of the three I am about to mention.

Nick Pope 

Pope has at times had a fight on his hands to stay Burnley number one but he has seen off the challenges and is fairly well established in the Premier League side. The 27 year old has earned rave reviews at times and is almost a certainty for the European Championship squad. Injuries have restricted him to just two England caps and playing in a side that could still be relegated are factors that could hold Pope back. His record in all competitions stands at 25 appearances and nine clean sheets and it is hard to pick out any real weaknesses in his game. His whoscored Premier League rating is up on Jordan Pickford at 6.70. Experience at the highest level is probably the biggest drawback for the Burnley 'keeper, so giving him the number one jersey at such a prestigious tournament is a risk.

Dean Henderson 

Let me start off by saying I think Henderson could become England number one for many years to come. He plays a huge role in the well oiled machine that is Sheffield United. 22 year old Henderson may even have his sights set on the number one jersey at Manchester United. He has experience at underage level for England but is yet to receive his first cap. He, like Pope, has many more strengths in his game than weaknesses and despite the very odd mistake has been a rock for Chris Wilder's side this season. Again, experience could be an issue. This is his first season in the Premier League so it would be a shock for Southgate to hand him the number one jersey on the eve of a big tournament. His whoscored rating is the best among the pack mentioned here at 6.73 with a record similar to Pope's with nine clean sheets from 26 appearances. The question is, without the solid base built at Sheffield United, could Henderson transfer his form on to the international stage?

Ben Foster 

Ben Foster - Watford Goalkeeper
Ben Foster - England's number one?
Picture: 90min.com

Last time I checked, 36 year old Ben Foster may well still be in international retirement. The Watford keeper is fighting a desperate fight to avoid relegation at Watford but he has been one of the most consistent 'keepers in the Premier League for a couple of seasons. He has eight England caps to his name and if Southgate is looking for experience and a steady pair of hands behind his team then he should not overlook picking up the phone to Foster. Watford's ever changing managerial circus has finally taken it's toil on the team this season but Foster still boasts eight clean sheets from 26 appearances. His whoscored rating is slightly down at 6.59 but in my opinion I think he would be a vital asset to the England squad if the call was made this summer. He many not want to be in an England squad to sit on the bench but if all starts to fall down around England this summer then having a 'keeper like Foster ready to go could steady the ship.

Conclusion 

There are many options and many different reasons for choosing any of the above 'keepers but it is a huge decision that Gareth Southgate has to make. I think it is likely he sticks to Jordan Pickford with his international experience and with his form likely to improve under Carlo Ancelotti. Ben Foster would be a left side pick but would certainly do a job.

Who do you think should be England's number one and why?

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You can find me on Twitter - @AdamLangdon11



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