By Harvey Byrne
Everton summer signing Jordan Pickford has told that West Ham goalkeeper Joe Hart was a role model for him when growing up.
The 23-year-old wowed onlookers after breaking into the Sunderland first team last season and despite the club’s relegation he earned a club-record £30million move to Goodison Park.
He also starred for the England Under-21s earlier in the summer, which saw them reach the semi-finals of the European and he has now got his eyes on the Three Lions senior team spot.
However, he would have to displace Hammers stopper Hart in Gareth Southgate’s side and he has now spoken of his admiration for his counterpart.
“I actually got his (Hart’s) shirt when I was a young player at Sunderland,” told Pickford to the official Everton website.
“Two youth team players help in the changing room every week and I made sure I would be down for that game.
“I looked up to him because of the path he took to the top. He was not really a ‘hero’ of mine, or anything like that – it was more that he was a role model for me to follow.
“Growing up I really admired Peter Schmeichel – and Thomas Sorensen when he was at Sunderland.
“I do want to be England ‘keeper one day. I have been in the squad a couple of times and Joe has helped me massively. I am still young and learning… and will always be learning.”
Hart’s career has seen him win two Premier League titles an FA Cup and two League Cups with Manchester City as well as winning the Premier League Golden Glove on four occasions.
He has also won 71 caps for the senior England team and is one of the best English goalkeepers of recent years.
However, Pep Guardiola’s decision to want a ball playing goalkeeper has seen him end up at West Ham, where he will be looking to have more success in east London.
In other West Ham news, David Gold has given a fitness update on striker ahead of Manchester United opener.