Jordan Pickford
Kirkland could not speak highly enough of Pickford.Getty Images

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland has told of his admiration for new Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and revealed that he urged his former club to raid Sunderland for the 23-year-old 18 months ago.

Ronald Koeman's men broke the British internal transfer record for a goalkeeper when they signed England Under-21 international Pickford from the Black Cats for a fee that could rise to £30m (€34,3m) last week.

Many eyebrows were raised over Everton's outlay but Kirkland, who held the same record in 2001 when Liverpool spent £4.85m to sign him from Coventry City, thinks the Blues have got "something special" in Pickford and praised the well-rounded nature of the up and coming 'keeper's game.

He [Pickford] is something special," Kirkland told Sky Sports. "I told Liverpool to sign him 18 months ago. You could have got him for a lot less then. He's the best I have worked with. He's a very confident lad and he doesn't have a weakness in his game.

"Normally with goalkeepers sometimes they are struggling with one aspect of the game but this lad has got the lot. His distribution is second to none, he makes the saves which 'keepers should make and his command of his box is the best I have ever seen."

"I would be very surprised if Jordan is not the number one for England for many years to come. Everton have got a fantastic goalkeeper."

Jordan Pickford
Pickford is the solution to goalkeeping issue that has blighted Everton in recent seasons.Reuters

The position between the sticks has long been a bone of contention for both Everton and Liverpool. Joel Robles and Maarten Stekelenburg both failed to truly stake a claim to be the long-term number one at Goodison Park last season, while Loris Karius, a £4.7m signing from Mainz last summer, delivered a number of questionable displays during his first season at Anfield.

Everton have seemingly resolved their goalkeeping issue but while Simon Mignolet did perform consistently well during Jurgen Klopp's side's charge for Champions League qualification last season, questions over the Belgium international still remain after a series of blunders in the past.