Darren Bent has admitted he is unconvinced that Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford can command his box effectively enough after watching him play for England over the international break.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Tottenham and England hitman says that the 25-year-old shot-stopper looks as though he tries to be an effective presence in the area but that a lack of communication has let him down.
Pickford started both the 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic and the 6-0 over Bulgaria for Gareth Southgate’s side over the last week, having established himself as the manager’s first choice between the sticks.
Having endured a difficult time at his club this season, the Toffees sitting 18th in the Premier League after just two wins, Bent says that Pickford’s communication skills means everyone has doubts when it comes to defending.
Asked if he was convinced by Pickford’s command of his box, Bent told Football Insider: “I think he tries to but that comes from uncertainty between the two centre-halves – the people in front of you – and himself.
“Balls are flying in the box left, right and centre and no one’s going and attacking it. No one’s putting their head on it and then when your goalkeeper doesn’t come and get it, that puts that seed of doubt in everybody’s head.
“Every set play you’re like: ‘Oh god, here we go again, what’s going to happen now?'”
Pickford made his 21st appearance for England on Monday evening, keeping a clean sheet against Bulgaria, while he has a total of 115 Premier League games under his belt after his time with Sunderland and Everton.
He has featured in every minute of the Toffees’ top-flight campaign so far this season, conceding 13 goals and keeping two clean sheets in his eight matches.