Could Onana solve Everton keeper crisis?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Andre Onana of Ajax looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group D stage match between Liverpool FC and Ajax Amsterdam at Anfield on December 01, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Andre Onana of Ajax looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group D stage match between Liverpool FC and Ajax Amsterdam at Anfield on December 01, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /
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Jordan Pickford has been under the spotlight for a long time and although he had a good game against Leeds last weekend, doubts and questions about the Everton goalkeeper persist.

The future of Pickford has been a constant issue for Everton over the past few seasons as his form has progressively deteriorated in the Premier League.

The England number one has struggled with inconsistent and erratic performances and these poor displays have cost his team goals and points in an increasing number of games. So could an alternative like Ajax’s Andre Onana be the answer?

There was plenty of speculation in the summer about the club bringing in another goalkeeper and on deadline day the Toffees did actually sign on loan the Roma and Sweden player Robin Olsen.

Olsen was ostensibly brought to the club to provide back-up and a bit of competition to Pickford, not as his replacement.

The Swede has actually only had one Premier League match – against Newcastle – and although the Blues were beaten, Olsen had a very solid, secure game.

Pickford though has continued to be Carlo Ancelotti’s first-choice, despite all his inconsistencies and Olsen seems to be only a one-season stop-gap loan, so the questions and queries about who should stand between the sticks for the club long-term, will continue.

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Against Leeds Pickford was in good form making a series of instinctive stops that kept the score down and Everton in the match.

This is the problem. The former Sunderland keeper can produce a string of brilliant saves in a game and then make a horrendous error that costs a goal in the same match. The truth is no team is successful if they don’t have a good all-round, but most of all, a reliably consistent keeper.

One young goalkeeper who might be an alternative to the England man is Ajax’s Onana. The 24-year-old Cameroon international, is looking for a move to the Premier League and his club are apparently ready to let him go next summer.

He wanted to come to England this year but supposed moves to Chelsea or Tottenham fell through. Chelsea have since signed Edouard Mendy and Spurs have a very good, consistent and experienced incumbent in Hugo Lloris, so neither seem likely suitors again next year.

Onana is a very solid keeper, strong in all the basics and an excellent passer of the ball, which is important to how Ancelotti likes to play out from the back.

He is also according to Whoscored.com, very active coming out of his goal, although that maybe didn’t help last night against Liverpool!

Leaving that aside, this is an area of real weakness in Pickford’s game. He is reluctant to ever come and claim crosses and corners and when he does he never looks really convincing. This creates further pressure on an already erratic Toffees defence, especially at set-pieces.

At the moment Ancelotti seems determined to persevere with Pickford so this is all just speculation on my part.

One other issue could be the fee being quoted for him. Ajax are looking for around £50 million and Everton are certainly not going to pay that sort of money.

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But if there are further lapses in judgement from Pickford, which cost the Blues vital points in the second half of the season and maybe even a European place in the end, perhaps the club will have to solve this problem once and for all, next summer.