Who should be England’s first-choice goalkeeper?

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Another error from Jordan Pickford in Everton’s draw with Manchester United raised renewed questions over who should be England’s first-choice goalkeeper.

Pickford failed to reach Bruno Fernandes’ shot as United equalised following an early goal gifted to Everton by their keeper David De Gea.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the men putting pressure on Pickford – and, in one case, De Gea too – for a starting place.

Pope top of the stops

Premier League clean sheets 2019-20
Nick Pope’s clean sheet record boosts his England case (PA Graphic)

That is one more than Liverpool’s Alisson Becker and two clear of the nearest English challengers, Dean Henderson and Ben Foster – indeed, in Europe’s “big five” leagues, only Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois (12) has more than Pope.

Henderson has excelled on loan at Sheffield United, suggesting he may have a long-term role to play for his parent club Manchester United, while former international Foster’s form has been crucial to Watford’s resurgence after a woeful start to the season.

Pickford ranks fourth among English keepers but only joint-11th in the Premier League with six clean sheets, with four apiece for outside-chance candidates Tom Heaton (Aston Villa), Alex McCarthy (Southampton) and Aaron Ramsdale (Bournemouth).

Save percentages for English goalkeepers in Premier League 2019-20
Dean Henderson leads English keepers in save percentage while Jordan Pickford trails the pack (PA graphic)

The 22-year-old has faced 86 shots on target this season and let in just 22 goals for a save percentage of 74.4 – bettered only by Alisson, Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris and Crystal Palace pair Vicente Guaita and Wayne Hennessey, with the latter playing just twice.

Pope (86 of 124) and Ramsdale (95 of 137) have each saved almost 70 per cent, with Pickford’s 63 per cent rate also ranking below Foster, Heaton and McCarthy and 24th out of 35 keepers in this season’s top flight.

‘Pick’ that out

Jordan Pickford lies prone on the ground as Bruno Fernandes' shot hits the net
Jordan Pickford lay prone on the ground as Bruno Fernandes’ shot hit the net (Peter Byrne/PA)

The 25-year-old flapped at a Newcastle corner under pressure from Florian Lejeune before the defender scored the first of his two stoppage-time goals in the Magpies’ stunning comeback at Goodison Park in January.

Two games later he allowed Christian Benteke’s shot underneath him at the near post – a mistake Pickford himself labelled “disgusting” – though Everton still went on to beat Crystal Palace 3-1.

He admitted he was out of position as Fernandes’ goal made it three from Pickford errors in Everton’s last five games, and both club and country must hope it is just a short-term dip.

Henderson coming for De Gea?

David De Gea
David De Gea has made some high-profile errors (Martin Rickett/PA)

Like Pickford, De Gea was committing his third “error leading to a goal” in this season’s premierleague.com statistics – most notably letting a shot from Watford’s Ismaila Sarr squirt straight through his hands at the near post in December.

Henderson had his own horror moment against Liverpool in September, allowing Georginio Wijnaldum’s winner through his arms and legs, but has responded well and recently told Sport24’s Kelly and Wrighty Show that his “big dream” is to break into the United first team.

Leading De Gea in clean sheets, goals conceded and save percentage and with only that one costly error marked against his name, Henderson is building a strong case to achieve that aim.

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