Sunderland's Jordan Pickford was today praised for his recent performance during England U21's Euro 2017 qualifier against Norway. Speaking on FA.com Gareth Southgate said:
"It was a tough game and I think everybody in the dressing room will be a little disappointed not to have played better, but when I think back to qualifying last time around and when I was involved with the senior team myself, qualifying matches away from home are tough and that's exactly what they are.
You don't always get to control games and I thought Norway were very good tonight. They used the ball very well in midfield and we didn't always come to terms with that and they tested our goalkeeper quite a bit and he stood up to that challenge, which was pleasing."
Pickford's plaudits come on the back of him apparently piquing the interest of Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa. It has been reported that both Premier League clubs have, over the last number of weeks, sent a contingent of scouts to ascertain the young goalkeepers progress whilst he's on loan at Championship side Preston.
Pickford has been loaned out to a number of teams so far during his short career with Bradford most recently benefiting from his talents. However the Washington born prospect is well thought of on Wearside, signing a four-year contract in 2014 to keep him at Sunderland long term.