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Is Jordan Pickford an ideal replacement for David de Gea?

ANALYST
Feature
366   //    05 Dec 2018, 18:57 IST

David de Gea and Jordan Pickford
David de Gea and Jordan Pickford

Manchester United’s player of the year David de Gea has refused to extend his contract with the Red Devils following a jittery start to the new campaign. Jose Mourinho’s men are currently 8th in the Premier League table, securing just 22 points from 14 games and have already crashed out of the League cup this term.

Albeit bailing the Red Devils out on numerous occasions and lifting the Sir Matt Busby Player of the year four times in the last five years, De Gea has not received any proper reward from the club, as it has gone backwards in recent years by struggling to compete for the Premier League title since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. 

It is understood that Paris Saint Germain and Juventus are circling the Spanish international to lure him away from England. Manchester United will not find it cushy to replace one of the best goalkeepers available in the world now. There have been plenty of paper talks about Jordan Pickford taking the place of David de Gea in between the sticks at Old Trafford.

The English’s number one shot-stopper has only three years of top-flight experience following his debut for Sunderland on January 16 2016. The 24-year-old was the best player for the Black Cats during their horrendous season which saw them getting relegated from the Premier League after a span of 9 years. The points board does not tell the story of the outfielders as Pickford came to Sunderland’s rescue more often and acted as a brick wall in between the goal posts throughout the entire season.

His consistent show at North East part of the nation attracted various suitors from Europe. But, Everton were quick to seal the English International’s signature for a fee of £30 million during the summer of 2017. The Blues were off to a miserable start to the new campaign which saw their manager Ronald Koeman getting the sack.

The Sunderland product is one of the best shot-stoppers in the League having kept 10 clean sheets in the League for the Blues last season. He has produced an average of 2.71 saves per game, and 1.87 saves per goal. Additionally, he is comfortable in the air by claiming 95% of the long balls and has a punching rate of 34%.

However, his recklessness to sweep the feet of the attackers on multiple occasions must be a concern for the club. He has conceded 4 penalties in that manner for the Blues last season. Besides, he has committed 2 errors which directly lead to a goal from open play. It has assented that Pickford always has errors in him despite making plenty of saves to not let the opposition find the back of the net.

On the other hand, David de Gea did not commit a single mistake and had a superior save record with a staggering 3.58 saves per goal. Manchester United had a good defence compared to Everton last season, but a number of errors made by these goalkeepers speak volumes about the certitude.

There is another attribute which could be the stumbling block for the buyer. The likes of Alisson, Ederson, Hugo Lloris and David de Gea are good with their feet because their team play out from the back to build up the attack. The same cannot be said about Jordan Pickford as he struggles to cope up with pressure when the attacker closes his down.

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David de Gea is an elite level, whereas, Pickford is an A-Grade keeper, to say the least. Should the Red Devils decide to pursue Jordan Pickford from Everton, there will be a huge loophole to fill. At a club like Manchester United, you will be under microscope week in week out.

At this point, it would be a gamble to replace de Gea with Pickford. There is always room for improvement, but Manchester United will be too huge for English International at the moment. Hence, the Old Trafford side must look at the likes of Jan Oblak, Wojciech Szczesny and Keylor Navas to replace the Spanish international at Old Trafford. 

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ANALYST
Avid football follower, writer, LFC Supporter, Chennaiyin FC Assistant Media Manager.
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