Sheffield United: Why Phil Jagielka believes 'perfectionist' Dean Henderson can force his way into England set-up after outshining Everton's Jordan Pickford

Defender Phil Jagielka has backed "perfectionist" Dean Henderson, his Sheffield United teammate, to force his way into the England set-up after comparing the goalkeeper with current England No.1 Jordan Pickford.
Dean Henderson of Sheffield Utd celebrates the win over Everton: Simon Bellis/SportimageDean Henderson of Sheffield Utd celebrates the win over Everton: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Dean Henderson of Sheffield Utd celebrates the win over Everton: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

The two stoppers came face-to-face on Saturday at Goodison Park, as United ran out 2-0 victors over Everton. While Henderson was at his best, denying Everton's £28m striker Moise Kean with a superb block, Pickford may feel he could have done better with Lys Mousset's second goal and will certainly be disappointed with United's first, when he came for a corner and shied away from the ball under pressure from Jack O'Connell.

Jagielka is well-placed to observe the similarities between Pickford and Henderson, still waiting for his first call-up to Gareth Southgate's senior squad after being overlooked for the recent qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo, after a long spell at Everton, before returning to Bramall Lane in the summer.

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And, speaking ahead of this weekend's game against European champions Liverpool, Jagielka said: “You can see the likeness in them. It is amazing. Five or six years ago, we were complaining we didn’t have enough English goalkeepers. Now, there are probably eight of them who you could happily put in the England squad.

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“That is the same across the entire squad. It seems to have blossomed over the past five or six years. I know Deano is desperate to get in there and get his international debut.

“He just has to keep his head down here and keep doing the right things. And, above all, keep putting in performances like he did against Everton.”

Jagielka, who spent 12 years at Everton, was given a standing ovation before the game and was cheered again when he came off the bench with just under half an hour remaining.

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“It is all about getting experience when you are a young goalkeeper like Dean,” he added.

“No matter how good you are, you have to have that experience. He will need to make mistakes. He will need to have the highs and lows.

“But I think you could see afterwards just how excited he was. He was then trying to talk his way through the game in the changing room.

“What I like is he is a little bit of a perfectionist. That is what you want. He will only grow as a character and as an individual.”

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