Micky Gray claims 'absolutely outstanding' ex-Sunderland player is second-greatest England have ever had
Micky Gray has claimed that former Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is the second-greatest England stopper of all-time, after World Cup winner Gordon Banks.
The 27-year-old has been an ever-present of the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 campaign so far, keeping five clean sheets in the first five matches of the competition.
Next up for the Everton keeper and his teammates is a showdown against Denmark on Wednesday evening – Pickford’s second consecutive semi-final at a major international tournament.
And Gray has argued that the stopper’s exemplary record in an England shirt means that he has to be considered one of the best to have ever represented the national team.
Speaking on talkSPORT, the ex-Sunderland defender said: “I think he’s been absolutely outstanding – not just in this tournament, but in the World Cup as well.
"When you look at his record, that’s two semi-finals.
"We’ve talked before about Gordon Banks, the World Cup winner. Apart from Gordon Banks, Jordan Pickford has got to go down as the second-best.
"Take your Everton hat off here, I’m talking about for England.
"Just in an England shirt, Jordan Pickford has got to go down as the second-best England goalkeeper we’ve ever had.”
Pickford picked up his 35th international cap in Saturday evening's 4-0 quarter-final win over Ukraine.
Over the course of those appearances, he has kept 19 clean sheets and conceded 27 goals.
England’s all-time clean sheet record-holder is Peter Shilton. Between 1970 and 1990, the 125-cap stopper kept a total of 66 clean sheets for the Three Lions.