Burnley have two really good custodians to cater to their goalkeeping needs in the shape of Tom Heaton and Nick Pope. Heaton, owing to his experience and calibre, is also in the England squad and was the first-choice goalkeeper under the tutelage of Sean Dyche before dislocating his shoulder, which has put him out of action since September. Nonetheless, his credentials are still top notch.
The skipper is nearing a return but in his absence, Pope has dazzled and it would be a tough ask for Dyche to pick one of them as his regular shot-stopper. Prior to Heaton’s injury, Pope was sporadically used after signing for Burnley in the summer of 2016 but has made the most of the opportunities he got.
As per one of the latest reports by The Sun, Newcastle United are understood to be keeping close tabs on Pope and are readying a bid to prise him out of the Turf Moor in the summer after being impressed by his performances this season. Pope has notched up 9 clean sheets in 24 appearances in the Premier League and has made 2.83 saves per game on an average. However, Heaton’s return might put Pope back to the position of that of a deputy.
If that happens, the latter might be inclined to a move. The 25-year-old emerged through the youth ranks of Ipswich Town and despite his spell with Bury Town and Charlton Athletic, he couldn’t cement his place in their ranks and was regularly shipped out on loan. At this stage of his career, he would certainly look to ply his trade on a regular basis.
Will The Transfer Make Sense?
The Sun understands that the Geordies have an option to sign Martin Dubravka permanently from Sparta Prague for just £3.5million at the end of the season. Dubravka was thrown into action for the first time after his loan move to St. James’ Park by Rafael Benitez against Manchester United and he really put on a commendable show.
He helped his side clinch all three points in the 1-0 win against Jose Mourinho’s troops but having said that, he needs to showcase his consistency. If Benitez finds a case against the permanent signing of Dubravka, then Pope could be a really appealing alternative to beef up their goalkeeping options for the upcoming season. Thus, it would be intriguing to see what happens in the summer.
Statistics Credits: Squawka