'Him or Harry Kane' - Wayne Rooney makes bold claim about Everton star for England

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The former Everton and Man Utd star has defended the current England No1 ahead of the European Championships.

Wayne Rooney has named Jordan Pickford as England’s most important player alongside Harry Kane in his most recent interview with Gary Neville.

The former Manchester United and England pair reunited for an exclusive on the Sky Bet YouTube channel ‘The Overlap’. Rooney was asked a lot of different questions regarding his past career and he was on hand to give his opinion on England heading into the European Championships in Germany next month.

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Neville asked Rooney who England’s most important player was; he answered, unsurprisingly, with Kane first but also listed the Everton shot-stopper as another option, which surprised Neville. “It’s probably Kane or Pickford, for me. Probably because Gareth [Southgate] hasn’t rotated in his position; we haven’t seen what the other keepers behind Jordan can do.”

In response, Neville admitted that he got Pickford wrong and was apprehensive about the former Sunderland keeper when he arrived on Merseyside in 2017 - the same year that Rooney returned for a swansong at his boyhood club. “I played with him at Everton didn’t I? I was also in the England squad when he got in.

“I think because of the way he is people judge him because he’s a bit lively. Joe Hart was similar, Aaron Ramsdale is similar - it doesn’t fill you with that confidence but I think because you are used to him now it’s different. If he was to get injured then I think it would be a big concern.”

Last season was one of Pickford’s best individual campaigns at Everton as he finished with the second-most clean sheets (13) behind Arsenal’s David Raya. Plus, Everton conceded the fourth-least goals in the league last season with only Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool shipping less goals. It led to him winning the Everton ‘Player of the Season’ award for a third season in a row. Having also signed a new deal last year, he is set to remain at the club for the foreseeable future as well.

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