Jordan Pickford has revealed how the lure of European nights helped to convince him that a transfer to Everton was the right decision to make.
The £30m summer signing from Sunderland made his senior competitive debut for the Toffees in Thursday's slender 1-0 victory over MFK Ruzomberok in the second leg of their Europa League third-round qualifier.
Pickford commanded his area with aplomb against the Slovakian side as he helped Ronald Koeman's men progress to the next stage, and he told the club's official site that playing continental club football was one of the major attractions that saw him move to Goodison Park.
He stated: “It was nice to play in Europe. It was why I came to the club – to play in big games. I want to prove that I am good enough so hopefully I can keep playing well and keep performing.
“It is hard to come to places like this, with a vocal home crowd, but it was great to get a win and a clean sheet, and more importantly to get through to the next round.
“We are starting the season early with these competitive games but it is better for us as a group of lads to have that extra edge early doors. To go into the season knowing we are through to the next round gives us momentum for next week [against Stoke City].”
The boy's going to be amongst the best, watched him for years at safc. Anyone questioning the 30M will eat their words!— FPL My Club (@FPLMyClub) August 4, 2017
Pickford became the most expensive English goalkeeper of all-time when he departed the north east for the north west and, after sitting out the first leg encounter due to a lack of match sharpness, was handed his debut by Koeman a week later.
Ther 23-year-old went on to state that it was brilliant to finally chalk up his first game for the Blues, and admitted that he felt the first of many appearances for his new club went as well as could be expected.
He added: “It was fantastic to make my debut. I have had to wait a little while but I feel sharp now. So I think it was the right decision to keep me back another week and let me out this time.
“It was a steady away performance. For me, I just wanted to do everything clean and as good as I could. I wanted to command my area and I felt like I did that well.
“They kept me busy because we knew they would be a threat with set pieces. We had to be on our game defensively but everyone was on it so that’s why we have kept a clean sheet.”