By Noel Whelan
Noel Whelan has claimed Jordan Pickford could handle the “pressure and spotlight” of being first-choice goalkeeper at Man United.
The former Leeds striker was speaking exclusively to Football Insider amid news of uncertainty surrounding the future of David de Gea, 31.
According to The Telegraph‘s Mike McGrath (24 September), Man United are weighing up whether to trigger De Gea’s contract option after their wage bill reached a record-breaking £384million for last season.
The report claims the Red Devils have the option to keep the Spain international, who earns £350,000-a-week, at the club until 2024 – with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season.
It is also said that Man United are considering a change of first-choice shot-stopper, which could bring Pickford “into the frame” at Old Trafford.
Pickford is under contract until June 2024.
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Whelan backed the former Sunderland man to succeed after playing on “the biggest stages” with England.
He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “We’ve seen some fantastic performances from Jordan Pickford in the last couple of seasons.
“He’ll forever be England’s number one, even when he wasn’t having the best of times with Everton.
“He can pull it out of the bag when he puts an England shirt on.
“He’s a top goalkeeper, there’s no doubt about it – and he’s gotten a lot more mature over the years.
“The pressure of playing for Man United is a lot bigger than playing for Everton, no disrespect.
“But if he did go there, I think he could deal with the spotlight and handling the pressure.
“He’s played on the biggest stages with England, so he knows how to handle and channel that sort of pressure into his performances.”
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By Noel Whelan