Germany legend Oliver Kahn has highlighted England’s Jordan Pickford as one of the standout goalkeepers of the World Cup, but believes he could be used to greater effect.
The Everton shot stopper received a lot of praise for his performances throughout the tournament and was the only the Three Lions star to play every minute as they finished in fourth place in Russia.
And former Bayern Munich and Germany star Kahn says Pickford is one shot stopper he has come to admire, but would like to see Gareth Southgate make use of his technical ability.
“The young Englishman, Jordan Pickford plays is the closest to a goalkeeper, like I described him after the final,” Kahn told Goal. “In addition to his strong reflexes, I especially noticed his excellent opening. In the semi-final against Croatia he played fewer passes than his counterpart Danijel Subasic, but was more than twice as often adapted by his teammates and used as a back-up defender.
“Pickford can use both feet and despite his lack of experience, for a long time he has been the first safe No.1 in the England goal. He also proves with his 1.85 metre height that the size of a goalkeeper only plays a minor role.
“But also for Pickford, as happens with so many goalkeepers, he is not used in the best way! The improved footwork of goalkeepers over the last 25 years has almost no influence on the game, unless they are also used accordingly as a goalkeeper and still get more involved in their team’s possession.
“In my view, the involvement of the player who is currently least integrated into the game plan, but could be the most obvious and logical option to make a variety of game situations superior and create a clear advantage. Here I see the greatest potential.”
The 2002 World Cup runner-up had praise for newly-crowned world champion Hugo Lloris, as well as Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois, who won the competition’s Golden Glove.
“Hugo Lloris is one of the best keepers in the world on the line and convinces with an excellent presence and a courageous, offensive positional play.
“Thibaut Courtois is exceptionally strong in one-on-one and control. Danijel Subasic was able to build his self-confidence by the many penalties he saved, show experience and radiate enormous security.”
Kahn is currently doing his part to improve the development of goalkeepers through his company Goalplay and started the Goalplay Academy.