Football

Boothroyd backs Pickford to succeed

England Under-21 manager Aidy Boothroyd has backed new Everton signing Jordan Pickford to handle the spotlight, after the 23-year-old goalkeeper became the most expensive British goalkeeper of all time on Thursday.

Everton have moved quickly to bolster their ranks ahead of next season, splashing out over £50million (S$88.3m) to bring in Pickford and Davy Klaassen.

The £30million club-record signing of Pickford from Sunderland came on the same day as the Toffees confirmed a £23.5million deal for Ajax Amsterdam skipper Klaassen.

Pickford, who was expected to start in his country's European Under-21 Championship clash with Sweden this morning, was linked with some of England's top clubs after Sunderland's relegation at the end of last season.

In the end, he chose to join Ronald Koeman's revolution at Goodison Park.

Boothroyd is confident that Pickford can handle pressure of his move.

He said: "He is a coach's dream. He is not bothered who is he playing for, he is not interested in price tags.

"All he wants to do is keep the ball out of the net and play football."

Pickford cost the Toffees an initial £25m that could rise to £30m with add-ons, which would eclipse the £28-million deal the Merseysiders struck with Chelsea for striker Romelu Lukaku in 2014.

If that was not enough good news for Evertonians, the club followed up one big signing with another as they landed Holland international Klaassen.

The 24-year-old scored 49 goals in 163 appearances for Ajax, with his last game for the club coming in their 2-0 Europa League final defeat by Manchester United. - PA SPORT

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