Everton have agreed a £30 million deal to sign Sunderland Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, a move that will make the England Under-21 international the most expensive British keeper in history. During the 2016/17 season the Sunderland shot stopper provided value, priced at only £4.0 million to start the season. We take a look at Pickford and his potential as he prepares the new season at a new team slightly higher up the table.
First up, let's have a look at the stats and figures that made Jordan Pickford a prominent Fantasy Premier League player over the course of the 2016/17 season, as one of the two favourite second choice Goalkeeper's alongside Eldin Jakupovic.
Jordan Pickford's 2016/17 FPL Rundown
Appearances: 29/38 appearances (29 starts)
Clean Sheets: 4 clean sheets
Saves: 135 (2nd highest)
FPL Price: £4.0m (starting), £4.2m (highest and ending price)
Bonus Points: 9 (joint 4th highest as a GK)
Final FPL % Ownership: 11.0%
Points per match: 3.5 points per game
Overall FPL Points: 102 points (joint 14th highest)
- Pickford made more saves per game (4.7) last season than any other Goalkeeper.
Everton's 2016/17 Goalkeepers
Joel Robles: 89 points (20 appearances)
Marteen Stekelenburg: 68 points (19 appearances)
Overall GK Total: 157 points
FPL's Best 2016/17 GK: Burnley's Tom Heaton, 149pts
Jordan Pickford: 2017/18 Season
Predicted Price: £4.5 - £5.0 million
Depending on the final price, Jordan Pickford may very well become one of the top FPL Goalkeeper's next season. Hardcore FPL players try not to deviate from their choices too often, and if a certainty for the spot, which would be ludicrous given that a £30 million transfer from Everton is on the cards, the Everton GK spot has a lot of potential to earn stable points.
Earning more than Tom Heaton last season, Everton's two shot stopping slots were only outgunned in FPL points by Spurs's combination of Lloris and Vorm. This potential is likely to be utilised again next season as Everton look to focus on youth in Ronald Koeman's second season in charge. This puts Pickford's arrival in a good-light, as the potential is there to score big next season is he is going to play the majority, or all of, the Premier League games next season.
With Lukaku seemingly out of the door, Everton have become a slightly less intimidating force, which may benefit their defensive returns, with Pickford relied upon more as teams fancy their chances against an Everton squad without a 25 goal a season Forward.
The Toffees are expected to let go of either Robles or Stekelenburg, but the issue of rotation is a real fear, given that Pickford has picked up an injury within the last 12 months. Either reserve option is a reliable deputy to the England international, and that is a factor when considering your options in the FPL. You want nailed certainties in goal. The last thing you want is to have the capable reserve GK looking over your shoulder - especially after Thursday night games across the wider European continent. Koeman has a habit of rotating his younger stars, so regardless of the price and position, Pickford could fall in line with the likes of Lookman, Calvert-Lewin, and Holgate, who drifted in and out of the Everton team between the end of the season.
There's also the question of his fellow teammates. Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman (when fit) are the sought after options, whilst Phil Jagielka and Mason Holgate offer alternatives. At Sunderland, Pickford was a lone horse, a one-option player at the back. Pickford shined because of how bad Sunderland actually were last season, managing just 4 clean sheets from 38 matches, so the points might struggle to flow like last season when he was making a save every few minutes for the Black Cats. Prolonged absence and a new team might just put you on edge given the choice of Pickford's inclusion.
Pickford's impending transfer will no doubt have many people turned into believers, but there's a long road before a ball is kicked this season, and if Pickford's the man to be called upon in the sticks.
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