By 90Min
December 27, 2017

England manager Gareth Southgate has asked Everton 'keeper Jordan Pickford to get fitter and leaner if he wants to head into the 2018 World Cup as England's first choice goalkeeper.

According to The Sun, Southgate is unsure as to who will be in goal for The Three Lions' first game in Russia against Tunisia on June 18th, with West Ham's Joe Hart and Stoke's Jack Butland also vying to start to game in Volgograd. 

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Southgate, however, has reportedly asked the former Sunderland stopper to change his diet and lifestyle to become fitter, leaner and more agile, giving perhaps his strongest indication as to who the England boss wants as his number one in the summer. 

Pickford has been in great form for the Toffees since his £30m move in the summer, keeping six clean sheets and making 62 saves so far, which earned him his first senior England cap in a 0-0 draw against Germany in November. 

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The 23-year-old, however, is keeping his feet firmly on the ground as talks of the World Cup begins to ramp up, insisting he is only concentrating on his Everton form and seeing where that takes him.

Speaking to the Telegraph, he said: "There is loads of competition. That is why you can't think about it too much. 

"You can do all the stuff on and off the pitch to get there, but the main thing is performing on a Saturday and getting clean sheets is only going to help. 

"I always want to improve and even if that (being England number one) wasn’t the carrot then I would want to keep improving for myself.

"I need to think about Everton first and keep keeping clean sheets or doing the best for the side. The rest will come."

Pickford has one final game with Everton to end 2017, away to Bournemouth as they look to continue their good run of nine points in their last five games, while friendlies against Holland and Italy in March present an opportunity for Pickford to stake his claim as England's first choice before the World Cup in the summer. 

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