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Everton actively pursuing Pickford challenger

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Looks like Ancelotti has seen enough of the England number one

Manchester United Training Session Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

While Jordan Pickford’s time at Everton might not be coming to an end this season at least, it does appear that the Blues have learned their lessons about his concentration and composure and want to bring in a goalkeeper that will actively challenge him for a starting spot.

Carlo Ancelotti still has needs elsewhere that must be addressed before the transfer deadline in less than a fortnight, primarily at right back (if Jonjoe Kenny is sold) and right wing, but Pickford’s latest gaffes in the win yesterday over Fleetwood Town will not have filled the manager with any warm fuzzies.

The Blues have already been linked with Manchester United’s Sergio Romero this summer and before, but now it seems talks are starting to heat up. The Argentine veteran has been relegated to third choice behind David De Gea and young prospect Dean Henderson who signed a big new deal this summer, and now wants out.

Reliable northwest journalist Paul Joyce confirmed in the Times that the Blues have reached out to the player’s camp to gauge interest, though there has been no contact between the two sides.

At 33, Romero is a known quantity. A stable shotstopper who will get the job done without making too many flashy saves while physically capable of commanding his area. He may not be even better than Pickford nor the long-term solution, but he does present the closest thing to a challenger for the starting spot than the England #1 has faced in his three seasons at the Toffees.

Jonas Lossl was brought in for exactly this purpose but did not show enough in training to even start a single game for the first team, and was sent out on loan back to Huddersfield Town the second half of last season.

Joao Virginia is still young and though recently signed a big long-term deal with the club, he’s had his own rocky spell out on loan last season at Reading and will need to establish himself by playing regularly.

Everton Training Session
Maarten Stekelenburg (L) Jordan Pickford (C) and Joao Virginia (R) earlier this summer.
Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

The concern with Pickford has always been with his concentration - he appears to be at his best when constantly on his feet, and at his most susceptible to brain farts in games that he has little to do.

A consistent challenger who would push him to constantly improve himself in training might be just the tonic he needs this season, but failing that, it would not be a surprise to see Ancelotti bring in a better goalkeeper next season as he continues to weed out weak links in his new-look Everton side.