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Impressive Pickford will only get better, predicts 1966 hero Banks

By Andy Hampson

Gordon Banks believes the England goalkeeper's jersey is now Jordan Pickford's to lose after his performances in the World Cup.

There had been some debate prior to the tournament over who Gareth Southgate's first choice would be but the manager opted for Everton's Pickford over Stoke's Jack Butland.

The 24-year-old justified his selection with some fine displays, most notably in the knockout stage wins over Colombia and Sweden.

Banks, England's 1966 World Cup-winning keeper, said: "I thought he played really well. I was quite surprised, when you think he is quite young.

"If he is able to keep his position in that goal then obviously the better he will become and the more confident he will become. I like the way he played and I'm looking forward to seeing him again.

"I'm sure the manager will pick him for the next few games. If he keeps playing as he has done he will stay with that job, definitely."

Banks hopes England's run to the semi-finals can provide a springboard to win a tournament in the future.

The 80-year-old said: "I hope they can keep together and keep feeling confident they can eventually win things.

"If they stay together and play together and get used to each other there is always a good chance."

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