Arsenal are stepping up their interest in Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, according to reports.
According to the Sunderland Echo, Arsenal’s interest in Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is growing more serious by the day after the Gunners sent scouts to watch the Englishman in action in their match against Watford.
Despite Sunderland’s poor performance in that match, which dealt them a further blow in their bid for survival, Pickford was impressive and would have undoubtedly caught the eye of the Arsenal scouts who were present.
The Echo claim that although Arsenal have long held an interest in the 23-year-old, Liverpool, Manchester United, Everton and Manchester City are all also keeping tabs on the England U21 international.
Pickford is one of Sunderland’s prized assets, having risen through the academy to make his first team debut in January last year, ironically in a 3-1 loss in the FA Cup to Arsenal. This season, he has an average of 3.95 saves, 2.44 saves per goal, 0.81 punches and 3.81 catches per 90 minutes in the English Premier League, according to Squawka.
Arsenal are on the lookout for goalkeepers as Petr Cech has been somewhat underwhelming since his move to the Gunners from Chelsea and David Ospina looks set to leave the club at the end of the season after growing frustrated at a lack of first team opportunities.
Pickford, at 23, has shown that he deserves to play in a team that has aspirations beyond those of Sunderland and given that the Black Cats will likely be relegated this season, he could look for a move.
Manchester United currently have the best goalkeeper in the league in David De Gea but there is a chance the Spaniard could finally make the move to Real Madrid at the end of the season, and the Red Devils will surely need a replacement in that event.
Liverpool have also had long-standing issues with their goalkeepers ever since the departure of Pepe Reina. Loris Karius was heavily criticised and subsequently dropped after a number of high-profile errors and Simon Mignolet has remained unconvincing as goalkeeper.
The Reds need a long-term solution to their goalkeeping problem and Pickford would represent an ideal opportunity. Should Sunderland get relegated, he will likely be sold at a slightly cheaper price which could appeal to both Arsenal and Liverpool.