Two of England's best goalkeepers will face off as Arsenal host Everton on the last day of the Premier League season, and David James believes Jordan Pickford should remain number one for the Three Lions, for now.

Gunners shot-stopper Aaron Ramsdale is one of Pickford's chief challengers for the England jersey, though the two have had mixed fortunes as the league season comes to a close on Sunday.

Pickford has been in tremendous form for Everton as they steered clear of relegation, confirming their top-flight status for another year with a dramatic 3-2 comeback against Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Thursday.

Ramsdale and Arsenal look to have missed out on a Champions League place after recent defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle United, with Mikel Arteta's side needing to beat Everton while hoping Norwich get the better of Spurs on the final day.

Speaking to Stats Perform, former Liverpool and England goalkeeper James said Ramsdale's form this season will not have gone unnoticed, but described Pickford as "exceptional" whenever he has appeared for the national team.

"I don't think Ramsdale's club form will be ignored," James said. "The way you get into England is by the good club form. However, Gareth Southgate is his England manager, not his club manager.

"It would be wonderful, I'm sure, for an international manager to look at his squad and everyone's playing at the best of their abilities at the top of the league, [but] that's never going to be the reality.

"I think what Jordan Pickford's done for England has been exceptional. Absolutely exceptional. It's not a case of not letting us down, he has been exceptional."

James says Ramsdale would have to seize any chance that comes his way with England.

"If he's to perform at the level that he's been performing for Arsenal for England, then Gareth has a question of 'actually now do I look at the overall picture?'," James said.

Only five goalkeepers have made more saves than Pickford's 117 in the Premier League this season, though he is 15th for save percentage (66.67), while Ramsdale is ninth (70.08).

In terms of expected goals on target (xGOT), Pickford has actually let in 0.9 more than expected, while Ramsdale has prevented 0.6 in that respect, though this is quite a way down from where it was heading into the last international break in late March (3.3).

James expects Pickford to remain England's number one ahead of the World Cup later this year, barring a dip in form that could prompt a change of heart from Southgate.

"If he looks at the quality of the goalkeeper and how much they positively influence England's performances, he may see a time to change," James said. "But at the moment, Jordan Pickford has been exceptional and therefore he's England's number one."

Jack Grealish will prove a good signing for Manchester City, says David James, even if the former England goalkeeper remains unsure whether the playmaker has lived up to his record-breaking price tag.

Grealish became the most expensive British transfer of all time when he moved to the Premier League champions from Aston Villa for £100million last year.

While the 26-year-old has not been at the sparkling best he showed during his time at Villa, he has made 31 appearances across all competitions, starting 26 times.

Those appearances have yielded only four goals, with Pep Guardiola happy to utilise Grealish as a rotation option, with City still in with a chance of a domestic and European treble.

Though Grealish's price tag hangs over his head, ex-City man James believes helping deliver more silverware will make the transfer worthwhile.

"You can't ignore the money," James told Stats Perform. "But there wouldn't be a value or a price tag which would arguably justify either way whether it was a good or bad signing.

"Grealish has been heavily involved in Manchester City's games this season. [They are] top of the league, [in the] quarter-finals of the Champions League and semi-finals of the FA Cup.

"Jack Grealish has been involved in that. He's part of the team which has been very successful at the moment. It's a good signing."

Grealish directly contributed to 16 Premier League goals last season at Villa (six goals, 10 assists), but that figure stands at just four so far this term (two goals, two assists).

He crafted 81 chances in total last season in the top flight, at an average of 3.3 per 90 minutes. That has dropped to 43 so far this season (2.5 per 90).

But James believes the switch has shown new shades to Grealish's game, such as having to become more of a team player in a squad packed with stars.

"The thing that I like more about Jack is that there's a different side to his game than what he had [at] Aston Villa," he added.

"As influential as he was, it was almost like they needed Jack to make Aston Villa work. [City] don't need in the same sense. They don't need Jack at Manchester City for Man City to work.

"He has to be part of the bigger team, which I think he's done successfully. I think he's been a successful signing.

"If City are to win the league, [if] they are to win the Champions League [and if they are] to win the FA Cup, then a big part of that will be Jack Grealish being in the club."

Liverpool risk damaging their long-term transfer policy if they offer Mohamed Salah a bumper new contract.

That is according to former Reds goalkeeper David James, who also told Stats Perform that the frustration of missing out on the World Cup is having a detrimental effect on Salah.

Salah is into the final 16 months of his existing deal at Anfield and is reportedly holding out for fresh terms that could make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League.

The 29-year-old has 28 goals in all competitions this season, a tally bettered only by Real Madrid's Karim Benzema (37) and Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (45) from Europe's top five leagues.

However, while Salah has once again proved his worth to Liverpool this campaign, James does not believe the club should bow to the Egypt forward's alleged wage demands.

"Quite simply, Liverpool won't offer him a contract that is wrong for them. As they say, no one is bigger than the club," James said.

"If he feels he could get more [money] elsewhere, and that's what he wants, then he'll have to go somewhere else.

"That would be the best business Liverpool can do with regards to sticking to whatever their policy is, rather than changing it to cater for an individual and upsetting the model."

 Amid the ongoing questions over his future, Salah's form has dropped in recent weeks, the former Chelsea attacker having scored in just one of his last seven club games.

That coincides with double heartbreak at international level for Salah, with Egypt losing to Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final and last month's World Cup play-off.

Indeed, since returning from AFCON duty in February, Salah has averaged fewer goals (0.66 compared to 0.81) and fewer assists (0.16 compared to 0.45) per 90 minutes.

He is also creating fewer chances (1.97 compared to 2.07), all of which James puts down to Egypt's recent woes.

"There's been frustration because he's trying to score goals, rather than trying harder for the team," James added. "What I'd seen this season up to AFCON was Mo helping out.

"It was perfect harmony. But all of a sudden it was almost like 'I'm going away for a month, let me try and get my goals now because I can't score them when I'm away."

"That sort of frustration is more detrimental to his performance. With the negative experiences of the AFCON and World Cup, you start asking 'Where's the desperation?'

"Is there a desperation to his performances to try to make up for those other losses?"

Salah's struggles in front of goal over the past month have coincided with Luis Diaz's instant impact since arriving from Porto in the January transfer window.

Diaz has three goals and one assist in 13 appearances, providing Jurgen Klopp with even more depth in the final third of the field, where they also have Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.

But James says that should come as no surprise given the impressive work of Liverpool's scouting department in recent times.

"I have to say, I didn't know a lot about him until he was rumoured to be going to Tottenham, so I did my homework on him," James said of Diaz.

"I was amazed at what a player he was. I'd like to think any Premier League club who plays against Diaz will know exactly what they are coming up against.

"But we shouldn't be surprised. One of the most impressive things about Liverpool is that Diaz isn't an exception – there's also Diogo Jota, Thiago [Alcantara], and so on.

"Players come into the team and look as though they have been there for years. That's all part of the system and environment. When players get an opportunity they just fit in.

"That is credit to Liverpool, who have allowed Diaz to fit in and feel part of the team in a short period of time. It's like he's been there all season."

Manchester City and Liverpool goalkeepers Ederson and Alisson are two of the best shot-stoppers in world football, and David James concedes it is a struggle to pick an outright favourite.

Brazil duo Ederson and Alisson will meet on Sunday as Manchester City host Liverpool in a crucial game in the Premier League title race.

The goalkeepers have been the standout shot-stoppers in the Premier League in recent seasons. While Ederson has three league titles to his name, Alisson has helped Liverpool to a top-flight triumph and Champions League success.

This season, both goalkeepers have performed to similarly high levels. Alisson has made 60 saves in the league from 78 shots on target faced, leaving him with a save percentage of 76.9, while Ederson has made 50 stops, registering a save percentage of 72.3.

Based on Opta's expected goals on target conceded (xGOT) model, Alisson has performed slightly better when it comes to the number of goals he has prevented with the quality of his shot-stopping.

Alisson has prevented 2.9 goals in the top-flight, while Ederson has prevented 1.7.

With the margins between the pair so tight, former England number one James says it is difficult to pick which goalie he prefers.

"My favourite two goalkeepers in the Premier League, absolutely," the former City and Liverpool goalkeeper told Stats Perform.

"Even off the field, these two guys are fantastic people. I can admire them from the goalkeeping art, but when you've got wonderful people doing it, then it just adds another layer to it.

"They're very good friends as well, which makes it even more interesting, team-mates on the international scene, your mates off the field, and then you're competing in pretty much every tournament."

 

However, James does believe that Alisson, due to Liverpool's more open style of play, is tested more regularly.

"If I had a favourite, it's very difficult because their attributes are different," he continued.

"When you look at Ederson, the guy who can kick the ball 90 metres, hardly ever kicks the ball 40 metres, and everything is pretty much played in his own half now.

"It's more a demonstration of the dominance of City and because of that dominance he's not actually being called upon so much.

"Whereas if you look at Allison, who's got the freedom to get an assist if he wants, but has been called upon time and again, this even going into the game on the weekend, you're looking at it and thinking well 'case history would argue that Allison has made more saves in the last two months, possibly in one game than Ederson has had to do'.

"So Allison's kind of winning at the moment because he's doing more but I wouldn't want to pick one as my ultimate favourite."

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