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Koeman praises Pickford’s stellar Everton start

Jordan Pickford - cropped Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. (source: Getty Images)

Everton boss Ronald Koeman heaped praise on new signing Jordan Pickford after the goalkeeper played a key part in Saturday’s season-opening win over Stoke City.

Wayne Rooney scored the only goal as the Toffees overcame a sluggish start to register a hard-earned 1-0 win at Goodison Park.

The result would have been different had Pickford not produced a stunning stoppage-time save to deny Xherdan Shaqiri, leaping to his left to push the Swiss star’s goal-bound drive around the post.

Pickford’s save preserved a clean sheet on his first Premier League appearance for Everton, a feat the 23-year-old also achieved on competitive debut in the Europa League.

“We know we brought in a really good goalkeeper,” Koeman told Sky Sports.

“He dominated his area today, he’s still young, and he had a great save on that [Shaqiri] shot. That’s really important.”

Despite the victory, Koeman admitted his new-look side was affected by nerves against a determined Stoke.

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