Jordan Pickford does not feel “far away” from the standard-bearers of the Premier League, including new rival Thibaut Courtois.
Pickford has spent just two seasons in England’s top flight, impressing during Sunderland’s relegation in 2016/17, and earning plaudits in his first campaign with Everton.
He is now establishing himself on the global stage with his heroics at the World Cup, inspiring England to a penalty shootout win over Colombia in the last-16, before keeping a clean sheet against Sweden in the quarter-final.
The 24-year-old has been embroiled in something of a war of words with Belgium and Chelsea keeper Courtois, who criticised him for his lack of height.
But Pickford feels he is not “far away” from that standard of keeper.
“I would not let that affect me,” he said. “It is just a game of football. I don’t let anything like that affect me. I’m just a normal lad. It’s only football,” he told The Guardian.
“A lot of people think I am only young, but it is my second season in the Premier League, and I do not feel as if I am far away from guys like [Courtois].
“I got a lot of games under my belt in the lower leagues, and I don’t feel the Premier League or this is that much different. In some way, non-league and League Two was the hard challenge.”