LONDON: Everton made Jordan Pickford Britain’s most expensive goalkeeper on Thursday as they signed the Sunderland star in a deal worth up to £30 million ($38 million, 34 million euros). England Under-21 international Pickford will cost Everton an initial £25 million, surpassing the £10 million Southampton paid to sign his international colleague Fraser Forster from Celtic in 2014. The 23-year-old is the third most expensive goalkeeper in the world behind Manchester City’s recent 40 million euros signing of Benfica goalkeeper Ederson and Gianluigi Buffon’s 53 million euros switch from Parma to Juventus in 2001.
Everton weren’t finished spending yet and they completed a busy 24 hours by landing Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen for £23.5 million.
The 24-year-old Netherlands international played in Ajax’s Europa League final defeat to Manchester United last season.
He made 163 appearances for the Dutch club, scoring 49 goals and winning three Eredivisie titles.
“It is difficult to leave Ajax but I think this is a good step for me now,” Klaassen said.
Pickford, who has signed a five-year contract with Everton, was manager Ronald Koeman’s top target to take over from Maarten Stekelenburg and Joel Robles, who both endured inconsistent spells at Goodison Park last season.
“Last season was my first in the Premier League so to get this opportunity with Everton now, to be able to go forward with my career and show everyone what I can do with Everton is unbelievable,” Pickford told Everton’s website.
“It’s a great club, a massive club and I think it’s a great opportunity and the right time for me to come to Everton.”
“This is an exciting time for the club and for me, too, with the ambition being shown. I just want to be the best I can be to help.”
Pickford was one of the few bright spots as Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League last season and earned a nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
He earned a call-up to England’s senior ranks in October and has represented the country at each of the six youth levels from Under-16 upwards.
Should the terms of each of the add-ons be met, Pickford would become Everton’s record signing, eclipsing the £28 million they paid Chelsea for Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku in 2014.
“I’m really pleased we’ve made what I’m sure will be a significant signing,” Koeman said.
“Jordan is a very talented young professional who also has a real hunger for success, and that’s important for us.”
“We’ve seen the quality he has through his performances in the Premier League last season and, given his young age, we’re sure he will get even better.” — AFP