Paul Merson tears into Everton player clinging on to his starting place

Paul Merson believes that Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s recent form has put his England number one spot under threat.

He says that the mainstay will need to be the “hero” in Sunday’s derby with Liverpool if he wants remain as Gareth Southgate’s first choice stopper for England, especially as his crucial error helped the Reds net the last minute winner in the reverse fixture a few months ago.

The Sky Sports pundit says that the likes of Burnley’s Tom Heaton are breathing down his neck, and accused him of not being in the same class as Liverpool’s Alisson or Manchester City’s Ederson.

“Jordan Pickford needs to be a hero in the Merseyside derby tomorrow because his England place is starting to come under threat. He made a big mistake in the last derby in December and it cost Everton a result,” Merson said, as quoted by the Daily Star.

“You can bet their players remember that. There is no bigger incentive for Pickford to put in a performance and he might need to because it’s hard to see anything but a Liverpool win.

“I don’t think he’s going to be a sure thing for England any more playing like this. Look how well Tom Heaton is playing for Burnley since he’s come back from injury.

“Pickford’s form has not been great this season. He’s making mistakes. Maybe he’s too comfortable. He’s had no one putting pressure on him for Everton or England really. But that’s coming now and Heaton is a genuine threat.

“Pickford has not been in the same class as keepers like Alisson or Ederson this season. He needs be more consistent.”