At a press conference ahead of the international fixtures, England manager Gareth Southgate commented about the goalkeeper situation.
Gareth Southgate denied to support Jordan Pickford for the number one spot for England national team. Consequently, this opens up opportunity for Manchester United’s Dean Henderson and Burnley’s Nick Pope.
England will play three games during the next week. First, a friendly vs Wales on Thursday followed by Belgium and Denmark in the UEFA Nations League.
Subsequently, Pickford failed to impress the boss with his descending performance for Everton last season. Therefore, Southgate opened up the spot for Henderson and Pope for the friendly fixture.
“We know that Jordan has made errors. Nick actually made errors at the weekend. And Dean has only played the League Cup games in changed line ups for the opponents so it is a very close contest,” Southgate said ahead of Thursday’s game. “All three, we wouldn’t have any hesitation of putting in goal.
“We will make a change tomorrow because it is a good opportunity to get other people on the field. And if you are taking goalkeepers away who are not getting the opportunity to play. Then that’s one of the hardest things.
“We have had keepers over the years who have retired because they have found it a really difficult situation to handle. So I think for the harmony of the squad and group, we have to give people the opportunities to show what they can do. As well as to have the competition. It is a very tight call.
“I always go back to the fact Jordan’s performances for us have been excellent. I am not oblivious to his performance at Everton. But there can be lots of factors within individual performances at their clubs. And we have got to try and help them be in their best form with us. Regardless of their situation with their clubs.”
New opportunities for Loftus-Cheek.
In the meantime, some of the England players made late transfer moves to bring hopes of playing in the Euro 2020. Though, the competition will be held in the summer of 2021.
One of the players is Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who was kept on the bench by Frank Lampard. He preferred to transfer to Fulham from Chelsea on a loan.
Southgate is excited to play the midfielder in the upcoming international matches.
“Whenever I speak to players about these sorts of situations, first and foremost, they have got to do what’s right for their career,” he added. “England is a consequence of that further down the line.”
“I think when you make career decisions, you want to be playing football. So if there’s more likelihood of playing football regularly at Fulham. Given the amount that Ruben has unfortunately missed through injuries. Then for his own development and the enjoyment of his career, then I think that’s key.”
“If he can play well, then getting back in the England team gets on the radar. But he has missed nearly 18 months. He was really unfortunate to get the injury. Because he was having a super spell going into the latter stages of the Europa League.”
“He misses nearly a year, then just as he is getting back to fitness, we have a pandemic. So he has missed a huge chunk and it is very unfortunate. We know the talent that he has. We know what he is capable of so hopefully he can play regularly for Fulham and go from there.”