England's goalkeeper options - ranked

  • England have a number of candidates for the No. 1 shirt
  • Gareth Southgate has some decisions to make ahead of Euro 2024 in Germany
  • Jordan Pickford has long been the England manager's first-choice goalkeeper

Jordan Pickford remains front and centre of Gareth Southgate's England goalkeeper options
Jordan Pickford remains front and centre of Gareth Southgate's England goalkeeper options / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

There's a famous old Nike advert which features Paolo Maldini and the tagline 'Italy's goalkeeper - easiest job in Europe'.

Unfortunately for England, they don't have Maldini marshalling the defence, so it matters greatly who they have between the sticks.

The race is on to secure that number one shirt for the 2024 European Championship, but who are Gareth Southgate's front-runners for next summer's tournament?

Here's 90min's ranking of England's goalkeeping options.

7. Jason Steele

Jason Steele
Jason Steele has had to share his minutes this season / Nigel French/Allstar/GettyImages

Steele was a surprise revelation for Brighton during 2022/23, replacing Robert Sanchez partway through the campaign.

The former England Under-21 goalkeeper impressed under Roberto De Zerbi, but has had to share his minutes this term following Bart Verbruggen's arrival on the south coast.

He'd be a rogue pick for Southgate but certainly doesn't mind playing out from the back.

6. Dean Henderson

Dean Henderson
Henderson has been Sam Johnstone's understudy at Palace / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

Having made the permanent switch to Crystal Palace in the summer of 2023, Henderson hasn't enjoyed a great start to life in London.

A serious thigh injury restricted his game time upon arrival at Selhurst Park and he's had to compete with Sam Johnstone for minutes this season. The latter's recent injury has given him a route back into the first team, but he may be cutting it fine to make the plane for Germany.

One international cap may not be enough credit in the bank when it comes to selection time.

5. James Trafford

James Trafford
James Trafford has been getting some Premier League experience / George Wood/GettyImages

While Euro 2024 will almost certainly come too early for Trafford, he is definitely someone to keep a close eye on moving forward.

Now picking up regular Premier League minutes with struggling Burnley, he was the hero of England's Under-21s triumph at the European Championship in the summer of 2023, saving a stoppage-time penalty against Spain in the final.

Trafford is also getting plenty of experience playing out from the back with Vincent Kompany as his head coach, which bodes well for the future.

4. Sam Johnstone

Sam Johnstone
Sam Johnstone has been a revelation at Selhurst Park / George Wood/GettyImages

It's fair to say that Sam Johnstone wasn't even in the England conversation prior to his arrival at Crystal Palace. But ever since he headed to south London, Johnstone has been in inspired form for the Eagles.

The 30-year-old has four England caps to his name and has been a regular inclusion in recent squads, but will need to reclaim his starting spot at Selhurst Park before the summer.

3. Nick Pope

Nick Pope
Nick Pope has been in strong form for Newcastle / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

If you're looking for a goalkeeper who is great with his hands and adept at keeping the ball out of the back of his net, then Nick Pope is your man.

The former Burnley man has been in brilliant form ever since he arrived at Newcastle United, but has been missing since undergoing shoulder surgery back in December.

The stopper should be fit for the Euros but a lack of game time and Southgate's preference for playing out from the back puts Pope's selection in jeopardy.

2. Aaron Ramsdale

Aaron Ramsdale
Ramsdale has been rotated with David Raya this season / Clive Rose/GettyImages

Rewind to the beginning of 2023 and Aaron Ramsdale would have been a guaranteed pick for England at Euro 2024.

But with a couple of howling mistakes mixed in with David Raya's arrival at Arsenal, things are not quite so clear cut now that he's become second-choice at the Emirates.

Ramsdale has previous call-ups from Southgate to fall back on and the England boss tends to favour certain individuals. The Arsenal goalkeeper may be one of those, especially given his confidence with the ball at his feet.

1. Jordan Pickford

Jordan Pickford
Pickford remains England's number one / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

Pickford remains a divisive figure among England supporters, with the Everton goalkeeper having long been criticised for his proneness to gaffes. Juggling the ball off the bar in the 96th minute of the Merseyside derby to gift Divock Origi an open goal springs to mind.

However, Pickford has largely eradicated his error-strewn performances at club level and become far more consistent for the Toffees.

The former Sunderland goalkeeper has always been preferred as Southgate's first-choice goalkeeper and the England boss has never budged on that decision. That's probably because Pickford has always been flawless for the Three Lions, seldom putting a foot wrong on the international stage.

Not only is he guaranteed a spot on the plane, he's guaranteed a spot in the starting lineup.