Is it time to pick Jordan Pickford?
Posted by Paul David Sanderson | Published on April 11, 2016
Jordan Pickford, 21, is a highly talented young goalkeeper. The stopper was born in Sunderland and is a Sunderland fan. Since joining the Academy in 2010 he has looked like a very promising player but never received his chance until this year when he returned from his successful loan spell at Preston, following the departure of Romanian giant Costel Pantilimon. Although Vito Mannone is still ahead in the pecking order, his performances recently have not been up to scratch and therefore it is likely that Jordan Pickford could come in to replace the Italian.
Displaying fantastic reflexes and great shot-stopping skills, Pickford certainly has enough to become first team keeper. More impressively, he has a godly left-foot which contributes to a key part of his game, his distribution. This was evident in England’s Under-21s qualifier against Kazakhstan when Jordan Pickford pulled off this assist:
During his time at Preston Pickford was fantastic, with the Preston manager Simon Grayson saying:
“We’re very delighted that Sunderland have allowed him to be at our football club. The lad’s got a bright future wherever he’s going to be.”
After only three games for Preston he had broken a club record, becoming the first goalkeeper for Preston to record three consecutive clean sheets in his first three games at the club. However, he wasn’t finished as in October Jordan was able to equal the club-record for consecutive clean sheets with 12 clean sheets in all competitions.
Since returning from his loan spell at Preston, Jordan has had two appearances for the Black cats. Both of them heavy defeats at Spurs and Arsenal. However, during those games Pickford was the star of the show pulling off some fantastic saves and showing Allardyce what he can do. But still Sam Allardyce has left him out of the equation.
Is it time to change?
At this crucial time in the season many would argue that you need experience, however I believe that with the attributes that Jordan possesses, he is what Sunderland need at the minute. They need someone who can knock the ball up to Defoe, someone who is quick off his line and someone who has passion, which I do not believe Mannone has. Here is the problem. Although Jordan undoubtedly has the passion for this club as a Sunderland fan himself, will that distract him or will it give him a boost? In my opinion, this is a risk worth taking in order to try and secure Premier League status.