By Goodison News speaking to Kevin Campbell

29th Sep, 2022 | 6:10pm

We’re delighted to welcome former Everton striker Kevin Campbell as our exclusive columnist. Each week the former Toffees captain will be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Goodison Park…

Everton would not prevent Jordan Pickford from moving to Manchester United if the money is right because Frank Lampard can find a replacement says Kevin Campbell.

The star goalkeeper has been in top form this year, and burnished his reputation by missing the international break amid Nick Pope’s struggles, leading him into the frame as a potential replacement for David de Gea at Old Trafford, where they were wavering over a new contract amid a spiralling wage bill [Telegraph, 24 September].

Sky Sports pundit Campbell accepts that the former Sunderland man has been “excellent” this season but feels it is not too difficult to source good goalkeepers so if the player wanted to go then he would be allowed to.

Speaking exclusively to Goodison News he said: “At the end of the day, personally I think Pickford’s had his detractors, and he’s had his moments at Everton, difficult times. 

“But one thing’s for sure. He is England’s number one. He’s the man with the shirt, he’s never let England down, and he’s been producing solid performances week in, week out for Everton.

“It seems as though, touch wood, a lot of the silly mistakes, he’s erasing those things out of his game. 

“He’s an experienced goalkeeper now, so cutting out the stupidity and stuff like that it’s made him a better all-round keeper, and you can see that he is.

“He’s got a little injury at the moment, so I’m hoping he’ll be back, but he’s been excellent.

“And it wouldn’t surprise me if Man United want him. It would not surprise me because he’s very good. He’s very good with his feet. Passing-wise his range is ridiculous, and he’s a damn-good goalkeeper, he’s England’s number one. 

“So I wouldn’t be surprised if they were interested. Now, I think the bottom line comes down to the player. If the player wanted to go to Manchester United then I’m sure Frank Lampard [could find a replacement].

“There’s loads of good goalkeepers out there. There are a lot. So I don’t think Everton would stand in his way, especially if the money’s right.”

It is a bold shout since Pickford, 28, has been one of the consistently key men at Goodison during difficult times, and with Richarlison already gone and the vultures continuing to circle around Anthony Gordon it would be a risk to let the match-day captain go.

Lampard would need to have a ready-made replacement lined up in advance, and the deal would have to be sizeable for it to be considered or else it will be one step forward and two steps back in terms of building this team.

The England number one is not everyone’s cup of tea, but he is increasingly proving himself in a Toffees shirt so while it is no surprise there is interest it will not be the news that many fans want to hear.