The sale of Jordan Pickford can't come as a surprise to any of us. A player as talented as Pickers needs first team football and a move to Everton seems the perfect fit given he will be thrown straight into the first team.
My overwhelming thought on the transfer is - good for him. Sunderland could do with his talent between the sticks, and I love the bloke, but he deserves the opportunity. Sunderland need the £30m (reportedly £25m up front plus an extra £5m based on appearances), but likelihood of us seeing much of that coin on the pitch next season is slim even for the most optimistic of us. However, if we were to invest, £30m would buy you a very decent Championship side when combined with the skeleton squad that will remain from last season.
2017/18 already feels like the start of a long healing process after the implosion. The threat of that implosion had loomed large for ages and David Moyes was the man to finally spearhead our untimely doom. It's incredibly difficult to forcast an immediate recovery for us, considering the in-progress player exodus and expected lack of investment this summer. Whoever does take the manager job, Derek McInnes or otherwise, is a brave chap indeed.
For Pickford, however, the future is potentially the polar opposite. Joe Hart's stock is dropping almost as fast as Pickers' is rising whilst the likes of Fraser Forster and Jack Butland's England claims were hit by heavily injury-plagued seasons. It all points to Pickford earning his opportunity in an England jersey - perhaps ahead of Tom Heaton - and he's not the kind of kid to crumble under pressure. I wouldn't be surprised if Pickford became Everton AND England number one before the national side head to Russia in 2018.
Is £30m a lot of money? Absolutely, but that is modern football and it's the going rate for the favourite to oust Hart's grip on England's keeper gloves. He is that good. I haven't seen many (or any) Sunderland footballers, goalkeepers or otherwise, capable of pinging a ball 60+ yards with such devastating accuracy. That's without mentioning how often he prevented us from losing 7-0 last season with countless class performances. Above all, Pickford will succeed at the highest level in football because of his mentality. Nothing will phase him.
He'll be Everton's keeper indefinitely, and do a bloody good job, unless someone pays the Merseyside club an even bigger fee to give Pickford the opportunity at an even more elite football club.
Gan on Pickers son.