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David Seaman says England goalkeeper decision is too close to call

Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland are both vying for a starting spot in Russia.

David Seaman says England goalkeeper decision is too close to call

Former England goalkeeper David Seaman admits he does not know who he would pick in goal for England at the World Cup.

The choice between Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland is one of Gareth Southgate’s biggest dilemmas ahead of the tournament in Russia.

Everton goalkeeper Pickford has been handed the number one shirt and played in Saturday’s friendly against Nigeria while Butland enjoyed a trouble-free outing in Thursday’s win over Costa Rica.

Seaman, who went to three World Cups with England, says there is little to choose between the two ahead of the opening Group G game with Tunisia.

He told Press Association Sport: “He (Southgate) has got a big decision, whether he goes with Jack or Jordan.

“They are both young goalkeepers, but they need to go out there and express themselves and enjoy it.

“They have not got the experience but they are in the World Cup, they have got the talent, they have to go out and show it and step up.

“I don’t know who I would pick. That is Gareth’s decision, they are both similar standards and what will make Gareth’s mind up is training.

“They see each other in training, Gareth will be watching and then make his decision.

“If I look at it, it looks like Jordan is going to get it because he is always in there first. We will see what happens.”

Southgate’s decision not to take Joe Hart in his 23-man squad was one of the headlines when it was announced in May.

With two goalkeepers who have less than 20 caps between them vying for the gloves, Seaman – part of the England team taking on the Rest of the World at Soccer Aid 2018 this weekend – says he would have included Hart to add some experience.

Jordan Pickford has been handed played in England's friendly against Nigeria
Jordan Pickford played in England’s friendly against Nigeria (Nick Potts/PA)

“I would have taken him,” he added. “He has got a lot to pass on. Whether Joe would have been happy being third choice, I don’t know, we don’t know what was said. But I would have had him involved.

“I can understand the other side of it as well. Do the others want him around? I don’t know, but I would have taken him.”

Southgate has won praise for the way he has taken to the job following Sam Allardyce’s sacking and Seaman, who played with the former defender at four tournaments for the Three Lions, is also impressed.

“He is doing a great job,” the former Arsenal goalkeeper added.

“I was happy when he was appointed, I knew the experience he had with the players he is now bringing through.

“For me it was a great appointment. I played with him before and I know what type of person he is, he’s a strong man and a good guy.”

Soccer Aid for Unicef will be broadcast on ITV from 6.30pm on Sunday 10 June and tickets are still available from www.manutd.com/socceraid

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