Huge blow for England as Jordan Pickford ruled out of March qualifiers

Gareth Southgate dealt huge blow as Jordan Pickford is ruled OUT of England’s three World Cup qualifiers this month after aggravating a rib injury – with Nick Pope set to take over as No 1 and Sam Johnstone in line for first call-up to squad

  • Everton stopper Jordan Pickford has been ruled out of England duty this month 
  • The 27-year-old will miss three World Cup qualifiers after aggravating a rib issue
  • Gareth Southgate has Nick Pope and Dean Henderson to pick from, however 
  • West Bromwich Albion keeper Sam Johnstone is an option to replace Pickford 

England manager Gareth Southgate has been dealt a huge blow by the news that No 1 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will miss this month’s World Cup qualifiers.

Sportsmail revealed on Monday that Southgate was waiting on news regarding Pickford’s fitness before finalising his squad, named on Thursday, with West Brom keeper Sam Johnstone an option if his first-choice custodian isn’t available.

And the Everton keeper has been ruled out of the squad to face Albania, Poland and San Marino later this month after aggravating a rib injury against Burnley last weekend.

England have been dealt a blow as No 1 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is ruled out through injury

The 27-year-old was replaced against Burnley after suffering a recurrence of a rib problem

Pickford’s unavailability opens the door to West Brom keeper Johnstone to earn his first call-up. 

The 27-year-old has been a virtual ever-present for the Baggies this season, missing just one Premier League game and despite the club’s disappointing season, Johnstone is understood to be on Southgate’s radar.

Sheffield United keeper Aaron Ramsdale was on Monday selected in England Under-21’s European Championship squad and thus unlikely to be promoted into the seniors.

Everton keeper Pickford has been first choice for his country under boss Gareth Southgate

Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez, who is eligible for England, was handed his first call-up to Spain’s squad on Monday.

Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow has played regularly this season, but has lost his place to Martin Dubravka in recent weeks.

Southampton keeper Fraser Forster, who has six England caps, could be an option for Southgate but Johnstone offers greater longevity, given he is five years younger.

It is now likely that Nick Pope is promoted into the position as first-choice keeper for the qualifiers, with Manchester United’s Dean Henderson as his back-up. 

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