Everton snap up goalkeeper released by fellow Prem side this summer to provide cover for Pickford

Eldin Jakupovic (pic via Everton FC)

Everton have picked up former Leicester City goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic on a free transfer to provide cover for Jordan Pickford.

Pickford is currently nursing a thigh injury which should rule him out until after the international break. England’s number one might not be back until October. In his place, Asmir Begovic will likely be starting an upcoming Premier League fixture against West Ham.

However, third-choice goalkeeper Andy Lonergan is also currently unavailable. Still recovering from a knee injury, the veteran is unable to make the bench at present.

With that in mind, Everton risked being without a senior deputy to Begovic for their next fixture. Consequently, they have found a free agent who can help them.

On Tuesday morning, Everton announced the signing of Eldin Jakupovic on a short-term deal. It is expected to run until the end of December, by which time Pickford will be back in his rhythm for club and country.

Jakupovic most recently played for Leicester City, where he was behind Kasper Schmeichel and Danny Ward in the pecking order.

The 37-year-old only ever played four times for Leicester after joining them from Hull City in 2017. All of those appearances came in his debut season with the Foxes. Therefore, he was released at the end of his contract there over the summer.

But with Everton needing someone for the short term, the one-time Switzerland international has signed a contract elsewhere in the Premier League.

Eldin Jakupovic unlikely to feature for Everton

It is unlikely Jakupovic will see much – if any – action for Everton. But they have identified the importance of having someone senior to fall back on in case Begovic also succumbs to any issues.

Jakupovic counts Grasshoppers, FC Thun, Lokomotiv Moscow, Olympiacos Volos and Aris among his former clubs. He has been in English football since 2012 – spending time on loan at Leyton Orient a couple of years after Hull City signed him – and is now prolonging his stay in the United Kingdom.

The Bosnian-born shot-stopper has become Everton’s ninth new arrival for the current season, after James Tarkowski, Ruben Vinagre, Dwight McNeil, Amadou Onana, Conor Coady, Neal Maupay, James Garner and Idrissa Gueye.

After Tarkowski, he is the second free agent they have snapped up since the end of last season. There is a chance he will leave on similar terms within a matter of months, but it was important for Everton to find cover now.

If Begovic is entrusted with the starting role for their next fixture, it will be his ninth appearance for the Toffees. From his previous eight outings, he has conceded 13 goals.

Coincidentally, Jakupovic was born in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina – the same country Begovic hails from. Now, they are teammates for Everton, even if that will only be for a short time.

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