Wayne Rooney picks his star player for England in the Euros

England football association

Former Manchester united player and an England legend Wayne Rooney has shared what is one of his most controversial takes. He picked Pickford and Harry Kane as the most important players for England in the Euros 20204. On the Overlap podcast, Rooney highlighted the importance of a stable and trustworthy keeper in a football match.

Garry Neville asked Wayne Rooney regarding who he thinks is the crucial player for England during the upcoming tournament. Even though the first name of Harry Kane wasn’t surprising, the mention of Everton keeper Jordan Pickford came as a surprise even for Neville. “I’ll go with Kane or Pickford” Rooney stated. “Pickford because Southgate hasn’t experimented much in that position and Jordan is the safe bet.”

This comment not only elevates Pickford’s status but also sheds light on the trust and confidence that Southgate places in him. Since making his debut for the national team, Pickford has been a consistent presence, a fact that Rooney believes is critical for England’s success.

Wayne Rooney with his surprise pick: Neville’s Changing Perception

Gary Neville, who initially had reservations about Pickford, reflected on his early skepticism during the interview. Pickford joined Everton in 2017, the same year Rooney returned to his boyhood club for a final stint. Neville admitted, “I played with him at Everton didn’t I? I was also in the England squad when he got in.”

Neville’s doubts stemmed from Pickford’s lively demeanor, which he felt didn’t initially inspire confidence. However, over the years, Neville’s perspective has shifted. “I think because of the way he is people judge him because he’s a bit lively. Joe Hart was similar, Aaron Ramsdale is similar – it doesn’t fill you with that confidence but I think because you are used to him now it’s different. If he was to get injured then I think it would be a big concern.”

A Stellar Season for Pickford

Pickford’s performance in the past for Everton and England has been a testament to his overall growth as a goalkeeper. He had the second most clean sheets (13) in the premier league this season, with only David Raya having more than him. Everton was the 4th team on the table of conceding the least number of goals with only Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool conceding less than the Toffees.

This heroic performance throughout the season earned him his 3rd straight Everton player of the season. His performances for the team and the new contract deal clearly indicates that Pickford will be a key figure at Everton for a long time.

Rooney’s statement highlighted a very key point for English football. The point of having a stability and reliability in key positions of the team. For any team that wants to be on the top, a crucial and trusted goalkeeper is a necessity. Pickford’s consistency and dedication since for so long has earned and fixed his spot as England’s no.1.

Looking Ahead

As England charge towards the pursue of the Euros in Germany in June, main highlight of the whole team would be Harry Kane. However, sometimes the crucial role of the defenders and the goalkeepers went unnoticed. With Southgate and his complete faith in Pickford, the fans can look forward to the team competing at the top in the competition.

Rooney’s bold claim about Pickford’s importance, alongside a player of Kane’s caliber, speaks volumes about the goalkeeper’s influence and the high expectations placed on him. As England embarks on their quest for European glory, the performances of both Kane and Pickford will be crucial in determining their success.

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