After a horror season that has seen Sunderland relegated with what felt like months to spare, more bad news awaits Black Cats fans. It sounds like home-grown starlet Jordan Pickford is on his way out of the door. As the sole bright spark in one of the worst seasons in the clubs’ history, the 23-year-old keeper looks set to move on after a horror season has seen his team go down. Despite the utterly awful players in front of him, though, Pickford has spent much of his time being one of the best keepers in the league this season. Now, it looks like he’ll get the reward that he deserves – an escape from the dour world of Wearside.
A fantastic city and a wonderful club, Sunderland feels like a graveyard football club at present. The fans have turned, they have lost faith in both management and ownership, and trust is at an all-time low. Add in the perennially depressing David Moyes, too, and it’s very hard to see how Sunderland fans can really continue to turn up in the numbers that they do.
One of the main bright spots, though, was Pickford. With it likely that he’ll make a move to a Premier League club – with Everton and Liverpool both heavily linked – there appears to be no time left for Pickford on Wearside. Competent and at times exceptional performances have been seen him outgrow the club, and he’ll now be almost certain to move on and leave behind a season which was personally outstanding but collectively awful.
During the week, he done what he could to stop the Arsenal onslaught reaching double figures. Making 11 stops to keep it at a respectable 2-0, Pickford merely added more pounds to his reputation at the weekend.
Now, it’s likely that he’ll move to one of the sides in the league in need of a new keeper. Everton, who are in the market after shocking seasons from their two #1 choices, are the most likely choice at the moment. The age of Loris Karius and the return of Simon Mignolet could see Liverpool stop short of making a bid, leaving Everton in pole position.
Another club in the running is Arsenal, who are in need of a long-term replacement for Petr Cech – Pickford might be the perfect choice, though it will be interesting to see how the young keeper handles the transition from being permanently busy to only needing to make 2-3 stops per game.