Ex-Sunderland ace Jordan Pickford set to make England debut against Germany

England's Ruben Loftus-Cheek during the training session at St George's Park, Burton.
England's Ruben Loftus-Cheek during the training session at St George's Park, Burton.
Have your say

Jordan Pickford looks set to make his England debut tonight.

The Washington-born goalkeeper is heavily tipped to be handed a starting role against Germany at Wembley after Jack Butland was ruled out with a broken finger.

Butland had been in line to play in the game as manager Gareth Southgate looks at his fringe players, but 24-year-old Pickford will now feature.

An FA statement on Butland said: “The goalkeeper has now returned to Stoke City to be assessed by his club’s medical staff.”

The FA haven’t called up a replacement, leaving Pickford – who left Sunderland in the summer in a £30million move to Everton – and No 1 Joe Hart as the only two goalkeepers in the squad.

Southgate has been hit by a series of withdrawals. Tottenham trio Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Harry Winks were joined by Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph and Jordan Henderson pulling out on Tuesday.

It means a largely experimental side will take to the field tonight, with Tammy Abrahams in line for a place in attack, while Southgate has already confirmed Ruben Loftus-Cheek will make his debut in an attacking midfield role.

Southgate knows the 6ft 3in player well from his time as England Under-21 coach and said: “He’s always been the biggest kid in the playground, but he’s not a player who’s survived on physical strength.

“He has great technical quality, dribbling ability, power, I think he’s a really exciting player.

“He’s quite a quiet lad, so I’m hoping he gets a lift in confidence from how we see him, the level we think he’s capable of.”

Southgate, meanwhile, admits he is uncertain when Danny Drinkwater or Jack Wilshere might be seen in an England shirt again.

The Three Lions boss contacted Drinkwater with a view to including him in the squad to face Germany and Brazil – but the Chelsea midfielder declined the call-up due to fitness concerns.

He has made one start and three substitute appearances since joining joining from Leicester for £35million, but last played 90 minutes in April and took a knock to the calf while playing against Manchester United last weekend.

Wilshere, meanwhile, has been overlooked for a heavily depleted squad due to a lack of game time at Arsenal and Southgate’s view that he has not been used in his best position in recent seasons.