England remain in safe hands with No 1 goalkeeper Pickford refusing to take undue risks

No risks: England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
No risks: England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
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England No 1 Jordan Pickford insists he would not take the sort of risk which saw Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker left red-faced.

Alisson, signed by Liverpool this summer for a then-world record fee for a goalkeeper, is renowned for being good with the ball at his feet.

But the Brazil international cost the Reds a goal in their recent 2-1 win at Leicester as he was caught in possession while trying to turn past Kelechi Iheanacho, leading to Rachid Ghezzal scoring into an empty goal for the Foxes.

Ball-playing goalkeepers have been in the headlines since the start of the season with Alisson’s huge move from Roma eclipsed by Chelsea, who signed Kepa Arrizabalaga in a reported £71m deal with Athletic Bilbao.

Manchester City won the Premier League title with Ederson, a player also adept on the ball, in goal and Pickford, too, has established himself as first-choice with both England and Everton because of his similar ability.

The 24-year-old – a former Bradford City loan player who helped the Three Lions to the semi-finals of the World Cup over the summer – believes he knows when it is appropriate to put faith in his skills.

“The quality of goalkeepers is very good, you have to be good at using your feet,” he said.

“It’s something I’m good at, something I will keep practising. The new manager at Everton, Marco Silva, is big on it as well, playing out. It’s all about decision-making, doing it at the right times, and I never put myself in too much risk.”

Asked if he had ever had a moment like Alisson suffered at the King Power Stadium, Pickford replied: “I try not to (do tricks) because I don’t want to be caught with it. It’s a risk.

“If it comes off it looks good and if it doesn’t… It’s a style of play and I think that’s the way Liverpool want to play as well. You’ve got to give that one where mistakes will happen and it’s about not making the next one.

“It’s all about managing the game and not making it again in the same game I’d say. It’s going to happen.

“For me, I’m going to try not to put myself in that position to make those mistakes. It’s the timing of the game, really. You don’t want to get too comfortable if you’re wining and start trying to be a No 10 player.

“If it’s on to do I’ll do it and if it’s not we’ll manage the game. For myself that’s where I learn more. The more games you play the more game management you learn.”

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah and Middlesbrough winger Marcus Tavernier stepped up from England’s Under-20s squad to train with the senior side on Thursday.

Gareth Southgate has only 18 outfield players to choose from for the opening UEFA Nations League clash with Spain on Saturday and a friendly against Switzerland three days later.

With both Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana withdrawing through injury, the Three Lions boss opted against calling up replacements for the pair.

Instead he has dipped into the talent pool in place at St George’s Park, with Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke working with the group earlier in the week.

Boro youngster Tavernier has been capped at Under-19 level and his older brother, James, is a full-back at Rangers.