By Noel Whelan

8th Feb, 2021 | 6:19pm

Whelan: Everton star's starting XI days are numbered

Robin Olsen has “shown real frailty” during his recent stint in the Everton starting XI and shouldn’t be picked when Jordan Pickford is fit again. 

That is according to former Premier League forward Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively with Football Insider after the Swedish shot-stopper started his second successive match in the 3-3 draw with Manchester United on Saturday.

The 31-year-old was filling in for Pickford who missed both matches with a rib injury.

Olson was widely adjudged to have played well in the first match of his mini-run in the first team, a 2-1 victory over Leeds.

But commentators across the board have suggested that the keeper should have kept out United’s third goal on Saturday, a glancing Scott McTominay header.

Whelan believes that Olsen’s days are numbered as an Everton starting XI player and that Pickford will be immediately reinstated when fit.

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“There were mistakes there,” he told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

“But the thing is, when he played against Leeds, he showed quality. Against Manchester United, you then see why he’s a number two.

“But it’s one of these difficult ones against Manchester United where some of the goals were fantastic. Obviously, take nothing away from Fernandes’ finish, that was just ridiculous. It was just nonchalant the way he popped that one in.

“That’s the problem for Everton at the moment: you’ve got an England number one who makes mistakes and you’ve got a number two who’s shown real frailty as well.

“I’m not sure whether they’ll go into the market for another one but I’m pretty sure when Pickford’s fit again he will go straight back in.

“Even if he hadn’t conceded any goals, Ancelotti’s already stated that Pickford’s his number one and it doesn’t matter about anything else.”

Pickford is expected to return to first-team duties imminently.

The England keeper had started 120 consecutive matches for Everton before he was dropped in favour of Olson in a 2-1 defeat to Newcastle in November.

In other news, a former Premier League defender has said he is surprised at Carlo Ancelotti’s “strange comments” regarding recent signing Josh King.