England manager Gareth Southgate has a lot of big decisions to make before next summer’s European Championship. One of the most pressing decisions is who should start for the Three Lions as England’s number one goalkeeper.
There is plenty of healthy competition for places in the squad and it is set to be a huge few months for English stoppers to stake a claim to wear the gloves, kicking off with the upcoming Nations League fixtures in September.
England travel to Iceland and Denmark before the Premier League season starts on 12th September and all eyes will be on the goalkeepers battling for a starting birth.
Let’s look at some of the names vying to be Southgate’s number one…
The Everton keeper is the current first choice, but his erratic club form has put his position in jeopardy after numerous high-profile mistakes.
The 26-year-old will be desperate to rediscover his best form which saw him star for in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. It promises to be a huge season for the Blues keeper, but there is no doubt he has the quality to retain his place for the Nations League matches and beyond.
Pickford is likely to start with his international experience and distribution making him a strong choice.
He may be number one right now, but he’ll need to improve if he’s to keep the number one jersey next summer.
The best English goalkeeper in the country last season. His fifteen clean sheets are a testament to his current good form.
The Burnley keeper has been in and around the England setup for some time and he is more than capable of staking a claim to wear the gloves for his country on a regular basis.
Can he transfer his club form at international level? Only time will tell if Southgate will give him that chance to add to his two international caps.
Southgate may have been unwilling to make such a big call on the cusp of an international tournament. Now, with the Euros delayed a year, Pope has more time on his side to prove his worth.
The Manchester United stopper had a stellar season on loan at Sheffield United and has put himself in the frame to be England’s number one.
At 23 years of age, Henderson is a long-term option, but thirteen clean sheets in a first-ever Premier League season is no mean feat which has certainly boosted his chances to be fast-tacked to the senior side.
Where Henderson decides to play his club football may also have a huge influence on his international future. The keeper has returned to Manchester United to battle with David de Gea at Old Trafford.
If his game time is limited his chances will fade considerably. A return to Bramhall Lane is off the cards after the Blades splashed out on our next option…
An outsider for the England spot, but Aaron Ramsdale will be desperate to have another strong season between the sticks.
Ramsdale recently completed a £18.5 million move back to his former club Sheffield United after signing from relegated Bournemouth.
Ramsdale is hoping international recognition is not too far away having previously been capped seven times at Under 21 level. Will Southgate give him a full international cap to prove himself?
Elsewhere, Tom Heaton is another option providing he stays fit. The upcoming Nations League games will come too soon for the Aston Villa keeper, but he’s been a regular in previous Three Lions squads.
Fraser Forster is a number one keeper again at Celtic having fallen out of favour at Southampton where he earned his first England cap plying his trade. Alex McCarthy is another option after having a strong season last term at St Mary’s.
It’s every man for himself in the goalkeeping department but who gets your nod? Have your say on on Twitter poll @Ladbrokes!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.