Preston North End loanee Jordan Pickford could be set for a recall to parent club Sunderland should Vito Mannone move on in the January transfer window, reports the Sunderland Echo.
Pickford joined the Lilywhites on a season-long loan in the summer and has gone on to make 19 appearances, earning rave reviews in Lancashire with some impressive performances, including a run of six consecutive clean sheets from October to November.
Now Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is considering cutting short the loan deal by recalling the 21-year-old to Wearside should Mannone move on in January.
Allardyce was appointed Black Cats boss after Pickford’s loan move to Preston was sanctioned, but he has been watching the academy graduate’s progress at Deepdale closely.
The Black Cats boss told the Sunderland Echo: ‘I think he’s done exceptionally well at Preston. I’ve been to watch him against Nottingham Forest, when they won 1-0.
‘He’s a Sunderland boy and the fact he’s got so many games under his belt, means that bringing him back here might be an option that we consider.
‘If nothing happens with Vito (Mannone) in January, we may end up leaving him (Pickford) where he is for the year, playing at that level and playing very well.’
Pickford, who has represented England at every youth level, is yet to make a first team appearance at Sunderland but has enjoyed loan spells at Darlington, Alfreton Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle United and Bradford City.
In 19 appearances for Preston, the young goalkeeper has conceded just 16 goals and kept 10 clean sheets.
Simon Grayson’s side have lost once in their last seven matches and sit 18th in the Championship with 21 points from 19 matches.
Preston fans… what do you make to the news? Do you think Sunderland should let Pickford stay for the rest of the season? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!