An update has emerged regarding Newcastle’s interest in Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope.
According to Caught Offside, the Magpies have identified the Clarets netminder as a key target heading into the January transfer window.
The report claims that the Tynesiders believe he could be the start of their rebuild under PIF, with Burnley said to want £40m for the shot-stopper.
Newcastle could solve a key issue in the squad by signing Pope in the January transfer window or next summer ahead of the 2022/23 campaign. The Magpies have struggled to find a consistent, reliable number one as Karl Darlow and Freddie Woodman have made four and three Premier League starts respectively this term.
Martin Dubravka missed 16 matches through injury last season and has already been absent for six games in this campaign. Darlow also has a history of injuries at St James’ Park, including one knock which kept him out of seven games in the 2020/21 season.
Pope, on the other hand, has played in 77 of Burnley’s last 83 Premier League games. This shows that he has been consistently available to feature, whilst also producing excellent performances on the pitch.
Clarets manager Sean Dyche previously heaped praise on the England international and labeled him as a ‘monster’ between the sticks, saying: “He’s improving all the time. His voice is getting stronger all the time, he’s getting more and more dominant and, trust me, he’s a monster. When you hear him shout ‘keeper’s!’ you get out the way!”
This highlights how highly the £34k-per-week beast is rated at Burnley, which is no surprise given that he has proven himself to be a match-winner for Dyche in the Premier League. Over the past 12 months, Pope ranks in the top 3% of goalkeepers in Europe’s top five leagues for save percentage (77.2%) and in the top 1% for the percentage of crosses stopped (13.1%).
He also ranks in the top 12% of goalkeepers for post-shot expected goals compared to goals against. This essentially means that he is an excellent shot-stopper in comparison to the majority of goalkeepers in the top five European leagues, which is why he is a match-winner.
Pope has the quality to make saves that others cannot and this can win crucial points for his team over the course of a season. Indeed, in the 2019/20 Premier League, his tally of 15 clean sheets was bettered only by Manchester City’s Ederson.
Therefore, he could come in and instantly be the first-choice number one between the sticks for Newcastle. Not only could he win them matches with his ability, but his consistency in terms of availability could solve a key issue that the club currently has with the injury-prone Darlow and Dubravka.