April 18, 2018 / 4:08 AM / a year ago

Soccer: Keane says Everton keeper Pickford can become world class

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City vs Everton - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - April 14, 2018 Everton's Jordan Pickford looks dejected after conceding their first goal REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

(Reuters) - Everton defender Michael Keane believes team mate Jordan Pickford has all the necessary attributes to become an elite goalkeeper and he should expect to be England’s number one at the World Cup in Russia this year.

Pickford made his England debut in an international friendly against Germany last November and the 24-year-old’s display in last month’s 1-0 win away to the Netherlands has improved his chances of replacing the out-of-form Joe Hart as first choice.

"Jordan can go all the way to the top. He has everything," Keane told Everton's website here

“He is dominant. He is aggressive... he is still young and learning, so there are things he can improve but I’m sure over the years they will come and he’ll be a world-class goalkeeper.

“His shot-stopping is great, he is quick off the mark to get to the floor and make his saves. His kicking and distribution are impressive, which is a massive thing in the modern game.”

Pickford joined Everton from Sunderland in the close season for a club record fee that could rise to 30 million pounds ($42.91 million). He has played every Premier League game for the Merseyside club in the current campaign, making 112 saves.

“He has been brilliant for us all season and has been great in the past two England games he has played too... I am really happy for him and, hopefully, he can be the number one at the World Cup.”

Everton are ninth in the league on 42 points from 34 games and next take on Newcastle United on Monday.

($1 = 0.6992 pounds)

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru

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