Seven years ago he was a young loanee in a struggling Carlisle United team.

Now Jordan Pickford is on the brink of English football history.

The Three Lions No1, who faces Italy in tomorrow's Euro 2020 final, spent half a season on loan with the Blues back in 2014.

He made 18 appearances for the Brunton Park club in League One.

It was one of a number of loan spells which gave Pickford first-team experience on his route to the top via Sunderland, Everton and Gareth Southgate’s national side.

Cumbrian Tony Caig was United’s goalkeeping coach at the time and remembers the then 19-year-old Pickford being a positive presence at the club.

“He was a bit of a throwback, in terms of his mentality to playing,” Caig said, speaking at the time of the 2018 World Cup. “He was very driven, and just got on with things. He was very grounded, trained well, and could kick the ball a mile.

“He was also very open to being coached. He wanted to get better. If you came up with something you’d noticed, and it was constructive, he was more than happy to get on with it. With that attitude, it’s not surprised me to see the steps he’s made.”

Caig said Pickford had a strong mindset despite being part of a United team that was relegated from League One. “When you’re not getting the results you need, the worst thing you can do is worry about that and over-analyse yourself, because that can breed doubt,” Caig said.

“Jordan was very much one who would just turn up and play, and you didn’t have to say much to get him in the right frame of mind. The closer he got to game day, especially on a Friday, he was right on it, sharp as a tack.”

The 27-year-old has been beaten just once in six games at Euro 2020 ahead of tomorrow's clash with Italy at Wembley.

Some fans have been reminding the nation of the Everton keeper's Cumbrian grounding...