Everton Goalkeeper Pickford Desperate for Europa League Debut After Pre-Season Run Out

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​Despite playing just 45 minutes of football for his new club, Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford insists he is ready to make his Europa League debut, according to the ​Liverpool Echo.

Pickford may have joined his new teammates slightly later than planned following his heroics with the England U21s at the European Championships in Poland, but the former Sunderland 'keeper kept a clean sheet in the 45 minutes he featured during Everton's 1-1 against Genk.

And with the Toffees welcoming Slovakian side Ruzomberok to Goodison Park on Thursday for their opening Europa League qualifier, the 23-year-old is desperate to make his competitive debut.

Pickford stated: “I’ll be getting my head down in training on Monday and hopefully I will be selected for Thursday. It would be fantastic to make my debut at Goodison."

Thursday will mark Everton's earliest ever start to a football season but have featured well in pre season, a 2-1 win in Tanzania and 3-0 victory over FC Twente preceded Saturday's draw in Belgium.


Pickford added: “Genk were a good side, and that’s what you want in pre-season. You want sides to test you and help you get up to speed. We have got something from the game results-wise, and improved our fitness so that’s the main thing from a pre-season game."

The England U21 'keeper, who was at Sunderland since the age of eight, gained plaudits from all areas during his breakthrough season with the Black Cats. While the £30m signing faces stern competition for a place in the first team from Netherlands goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, it is clear that he intends to make the number one jersey his own before the start of the Premier League season.

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