Tony Gillan: If Gianluigi was £37million then Jordan Pickford is worth double

Jordan Pickford has unquestionably been pivotal in the recent acquisition of nine desperately needed points. For the first time in years, Sunderland have produced a quality young player.

Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 11:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 2:50 pm
Sunderland's manager David Moyes celebrates with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford

According to one weekend headline: “Sunderland’s Jordan Pickford wanted to replace Hugo Lloris at White Hart Lane next summer.”

This was in the Sun. So we can reasonably discount any possibility of Jordan Pickford being wanted to replace Hugo Lloris at White Hart Lane next summer.

Nevertheless, we must be realistic. A player as young and talented as Pickford is inevitably going to attract interest from bigger clubs – and Tottenham.

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It would be understandable if the player himself wanted to be in a side that has a chance of winning trophies – or Tottenham.

No one wants their best players to leave. But inhabitants of reality are aware that debts must be paid and Sunderland are £139m in the red. This figure is almost certain to rise when the latest accounts are published next year.

It is preferable that Pickford stays on Wearside and he is contracted until the summer of 2020. But if he must leave then the following three things should happen.

The sale should be made in the summer and not in January, midway through the latest dogfight.

It should be stressed that it is 15 years since Juventus paid £37m for Gianluigi Buffon. In today’s ludicrous market Sunderland should therefore start negotiations at twice that amount. Be outrageous. Why not? It’s what everyone else does.

Don’t use any monies accrued from Pickford to buy another string of nobodies for two and three million quid a time.