Ex-Sunderland ace Jordan Pickford reacts to England World Cup call

Jordan Pickford has spoken of his pride after earning an England World Cup call-up.

Thursday, 17th May 2018, 9:02 am
Updated Thursday, 17th May 2018, 9:06 am
Jordan Pickford.

The Washington-born former Sunderland goalkeeper has been named in Gareth Southgate's squad for Russia this summer.

Pickford, who moved to Everton in a British record £30million deal last summer, took to social media to express his delight and says he can't wait for the tournament to begin.

Pickford tweeted: "Buzzing to get called up to the World Cup. From being a little boy to now, it’s something I’ve always dreamed of and aspired to achieve.

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"Can’t wait to get started."

England will go into this summer's World Cup with one of their youngest ever major tournament squads, especially in the goalkeeping department.

Southgate's 23-man group was announced on Wednesday, with an average age of 26 years and 18 days making it the third-youngest squad to represent England at a World Cup.

The situation is particularly noticeable when it comes to England's last line of defence, where Joe Hart's omission leaves 25-year-old Jack Butland, Pickford, 24, and uncapped 26-year-old Nick Pope who have made only nine international appearances between them.

There are warm-up games against Nigeria and Costa Rica for the trio to add to that tally, but their current total does not even match the average caps among England's trio of keepers at any other tournament this century.

Pickford will be hoping to start the tournament in goal and has previously spoken of his desire to be England No.1.

Speaking at the North East Football Writers Association event in March, Pickford told the Sunderland Echo: "All I can do is keep putting in the hard work and putting in performances each week and in each game.

"That starts on the training ground and in the gym and also the nutritional side of the game, to give myself the best opportunity to became the best I can be.

"Hopefully that will help me to become England’s No.1.

"That’s what I want to be, I would be lying if I said I didn’t want it.Hopefully I can get on the plane – that’s the first aim – and then go from there."