Jordan Pickford called up to England senior squad

Sunderland's Jordan Pickford has been called up to the England squad.

Jordan Pickford called up to England senior squad
Above: Sunderland's Jordan Pickford in England training ahead of their trip to Slovenia | Photo: Getty Images

There was delight for Sunderland AFC goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, as he received his first call-up for the England squad, ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Slovenia. 

Making the step up 

It has proven a breakthrough season for the Washington-born stopper, filling in for the injured Vito Mannone, making seven appearances so far for the Black Cats. 

The 22-year-old has made nine under-21 appearances under current senior manager Gareth Southgate, and was recently called up for the match with Bosnia & Herzegovina, but pulled out through injury. 

However, with an injury to Burnley's Tom Heaton, Pickford has been drafted in by Southgate, as the Three Lions look to keep up their 100 per cent record in qualifying. 

Pickford wrote on his Twitter: "Honoured to be called up to the England senior team for the first time! Really excited for the journey ahead, can't wait to get started." 

Jordan Pickford in action during Sunderland's 1-0 defeat to Tottenham | Photo: Getty Images
Jordan Pickford in action during Sunderland's 1-0 defeat to Tottenham | Photo: Getty Images

Great potential 

Pickford has excited many at the Academy of Light for a number of years, and has shown the best of his talents so far in this campaign. 

However he has shown that he can still improve, with the 1-1 draw at Southampton being evidence of that, but captain John O'Shea believes that he has the potential to be top-class. 

“Pickers has been impressive, his kicking is quality at times but sometimes he has to calm himself down because the game is going so fast,” said O’Shea.

He added: “It’s end to end and we just need to try and keep control of it because that kind of adds to the tension."

O'Shea concluded: “If he can control that a little bit then he is going to be a top-class keeper.”

England will take on Slovenia in the 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Stadion Stozice on Tuesday, October 11 with kick-off at 7:45pm BST.