Arsenal boss hails Jordan Pickford performance - but rules out a summer move for Sunderland ace

Alexis Sanchez scored past Jordan Pickford.
Alexis Sanchez scored past Jordan Pickford.

Arsene Wenger hailed Jordan Pickford’s “exceptional” display - but ruled out a summer move for the in-demand Sunderland goalkeeper.

Sunderland produced a spirited display at the Emirates Stadium but went down 2-0 after Pickford’s goal was finally breached, Alexis Sanchez bagging a late double.

Sunderland were much improved from the dire performance against Swansea City but found themselves on the ropes for much of the game and they had Pickford to thank for the keeping the score down.

Arsenal peppered his goal with 36 attempts, with the 23-year-old making 11 saves leading to praise from both David Moyes and Wenger.

It seems inevitable Pickford will leave the Stadium of Light this summer, with Sunderland needing to cash in on one of their biggest assets to help balance the books.

Everton are understood to be leading the race to sign him but Arsenal have also been heavily linked with a summer move.

Wenger, though, ruled out a move this summer saying he is well stocked in the goalkeeping department.

“He had an exceptional night,” said the Arsenal boss, when asked about Pickford’s sensational display.

“We had 36 shots on goal, the highest ever in the Premier League and their keeper saved 11 of them, he has done extremely well.

“We have plenty of goalkeepers.

“We have Petr Cech, David Ospina, Wojciech Szczesny on loan at Roma, who had an exceptional season at Roma and Emiliano Martinez.

“If there is one thing we don’t need to buy it is a goalkeeper.”

Moyes, meanwhile, admitted he is running out of words to describe Pickford’s stunning performances for Sunderland this season.

The Scot added: “We had a very good goalkeeper tonight, who was outstanding.

“I don’t really know what else I can say about him, and I think people probably think I sound like a salesman whenever I talk him up.

“It’s not that, and I’m hardly saying anything about him now. He made a mistake on Saturday [against Swansea City] but it was only the second mistake he’s made.

“He’s a young goalkeeper, in only his first season in the Premier League, and he has been magnificent.

“He’s a bit old-fashioned, and he makes saves you don’t expect goalkeepers to make. This boy has made numerous for us this season, he’s been really good.”

Defeat in Sunderland’s penultimate Premier League game means they will finish bottom of the table with just Sunday’s trip to Champions Chelsea to come.