According to BBC commentator Micah Richards, Newcastle’s Nick Pope will be England’s first-choice goalkeeper at Euro 2024, with Everton’s Jordan Pickford expected to miss out.
Pickford’s confidence would collapse if Everton were relegated this season, according to Richards, and he would take his spot in Gareth Southgate’s squad ahead of the tournament.
He added that his forecast was backed up by Aaron Ramsdale falling to Arsenal’s bench, which would likewise leave him without much of an influence despite appearing to be Pickford’s understudy at the moment.
On The Rest is Football podcast [32:50] on September 23, Richards discussed the national team’s goalkeeper issue with co-hosts Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer.
“We’ve got Ramsdale who’s not playing at Arsenal,” Richards said of England’s goalkeeping alternatives. We have Pickford, who might be sent off with Everton. Then we go to Crystal Palace, and we have Sam Johnstone…” before Shearer chimed in, “Pope.”
“Well, I was coming there,” Richards continued. He’ll be number one at the Euros at the end of the season, Pope will be number one,” Richards said, to which Lineker asked, “Do you think so?” Richards replied, “100%.”
“If Everton go down and he [Pickford] loses confidence, he could… So we’re going with Sam Johnstone who was in the last England squad, but now they’ve just signed Dean Henderson.
“The only one free and is in good form, and can focus on his form, is Pope.”
Pickford should remain as England’s number one regardless
Even if Everton do find themselves facing relegation from the Premier League this season, Pickford should remain as Southgate’s number one choice, and it looks likely he probably will.
The manager’s tendency to stick to players he trusts regardless of their club situations has been made clear by his support for Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire, so if Everton’s on-field struggles do continue, it is unlikely to make a difference to his opinion on Pickford.
Everton’s main man has proved time and time again that he will always perform to a high standard for his country. His form at Goodison Park has been equally impressive, and that’s unlikely to change unless something drastic happens.
Pope, meanwhile, has never really got a look in at England, largely due to Pickford’s performances, and wasn’t even included in the last squad with Ramsdale and Johnstone the preferred options, so Richards’ claims seem to be a bit of a reach.
In other Everton news, a “nightmare scenario” has been shared regarding the 777 Partners takeover.