Everton have made quite a few signings during the Ronald Koeman era, but perhaps the most important of all was acquiring legendary Leicester City scout Steve Walsh in the summer of 2016. Walsh was named director of football at Finch Farm, and made his name by (among other things) uncovering players like Gianfranco Zola, Didier Drogba, Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante, and Jamie Vardy.
Of course, it’s too soon to give true verdicts on most of Walsh’s signings to date, but two of them from this summer in particular have looked outstanding, and the Englishman wasn’t afraid to tell us about it.
Walsh was full of praise for Michael Keane, even going so far as to say the 24 year old might be a future captain of England. That may be a stretch, but it’s clear that Keane will be a fixture in the Everton back line for years to come.
Pickford, meanwhile, gains equally high marks, with Walsh saying that the ex-Sunderland man could go on to be the Three Lions’ number one goalkeeper for years to come. It’s a widely shared opinion among football experts, but it’s still startling to think about - Everton shouldn’t have to worry about the goalkeeping position for what could be ten years or more.
We’ll have more on Everton’s summer signings in the coming days, but for now, it seems that the Blues’ two young Englishmen could be the cream of the crop. You can catch Pickford and Keane’s England in action against Slovenia later on today, when we’ll all be praying neither of them pick up injuries.