Everton have confirmed the signing of Jordan Pickford for a club-record fee of £30 million pounds. The former Sunderland goalkeeper has signed a five-year contract that will run until the summer of 2022.
The Blues had been keen to secure the deal for the 23-year-old despite the fact is currently away in Poland with England for the European U21 Championships. A delegation from the club travelled to Kielce, Poland on Wednesday to complete a medical and sign the necessary paperwork so that the club could complete the deal prior to the start of the tournament.
An initial fee of £25 million pounds for the 23-year-old could rise to £30 million pounds depending on team and individual performances, a British record and third highest fee in the world for any goalkeeper.
Pickford has represented England at all youth levels and was given his first call-up to the senior squad in October. The Washington-born keeper was also shortlisted for the PFA Young Player of the Year last season despite Sunderland’s relegation to the Sky Bet Championship.
One of Joel Robles and Maarten Stekelenburg is expected to depart Everton this summer to make way for Pickford’s role as the Blues new number one.
Pickford’s delight at the deal
Pickford becomes Everton’s first signing of this summer and fills a key need for the Blues going into the 2017/18 season.
The England international spoke to EvertonFC.com about his delight for the deal being completed. He said: “It’s a great club, a massive club.”
He continued: “I think it’s a great opportunity and the right time for me to come to Everton and show what I can do.”
Speaking about his previous experiences of Goodison Park, Everton’s record signing said: “I remember playing (at Goodison Park) on my first game back from injury last season for Sunderland.
“When I came out for the second half the fans gave me a clap and applauded then so I can’t wait to get out there on the pitch at Goodison.”
Pickford should make his full Everton debut against Stoke City in the Premier League on August 13th but could return from international duty in time for the Europa League qualifications stage.
The 23-year-old is entitled to around a three-week break following his summer tournament participation and with England one of the favourites for the tournament, he could be for the duration.
Ronald Koeman comments on the signing
A new number one has been a key target for Ronald Koeman and his team this season and he spoke of his delight at being able to secure Pickford.
Koeman told EvertonFC.com: “I’m really pleased we’ve made what I'm sure will be a significant signing for Everton Football Club.”
The Everton boss added that Pickford is a “very talented young professional” who also has a “real hunger for success.”
The Dutchman will now turn his attention to the next additions to his Everton squad, with Ajax’s Davy Klaassen expected to join up with the Blues in the coming days.