Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has been ruled out for a month with a thigh injury which will force him to miss England’s Nations League matches against Italy and Germany.
The 28-year-old put in a man-of-the-match performance in Saturday’s goalless Merseyside derby at home to Liverpool but it came at a cost as he will now sit out games against Arsenal and West Ham.
It leaves Everton with just one fit senior goalkeeper in Asmir Begovic, who has deputised for Pickford since last summer, as number three Andy Lonergan is also out with a knee injury.
A statement from Everton said: ‘Jordan Pickford suffered a thigh injury against Liverpool on Saturday.
‘The England international has undergone medical investigations this week and is not expected to return to action until after the next international break.’
Pickford has been Gareth Southgate’s long-time number one but the England boss will have to turn to Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale or Newcastle’s Nick Pope for the games against Italy in the San Siro on September 23 and Germany at Wembley three days later – the team’s last competitive outings before the World Cup begins in November.
Everton go to Arsenal on Sunday and James Tarkowski believes a first victory of the season is coming, saying: “We have a great manager and staff who put a plan together on how to deal with teams and how we can affect them going the other way.
“It was implemented against Liverpool, and you saw that with the chances we created and the way we defended. We need to do the same again.
“We have some real talent in forward areas, and we’ve also got the structure behind them to try to stop the ball going in our goal.
“The togetherness is so important, as well as the quality, and we’ve got a very good group. If we can show that consistently, I think we’ll get plenty of points on the board.
“We’re working on our build-up play from the back and we’re showing that more and more.
“We’ve got some top, top players and I think the additions we’ve brought in recently will definitely help the group.
“I look forward to the season ahead because there’s a real feel-good factor around here.
“It’s been a pleasing window and you can see the additions have all got something to give to the group,” Tarkowski said.
“Gana’s been here before, so he’s slotted in very easily, and I thought he was brilliant when he came on against Liverpool.
“Jimmy Garner is young, he’ll learn and I’m sure he’ll fit in well.
“Neal’s an experienced player and he’s been at this level for a while. I thought he had a very good debut. He was really unfortunate not to score, their keeper made a great save from him.”