Sky Sports’ Keith Downie has revealed that Eddie Howe has given new goalkeeper Nick Pope assurances over his role in the squad.
The England goalkeeper recently made the move following Burnley’s relegation from the Premier League. He comes in looking to instantly take the number one shirt, as the Magpies continue to build towards their high ambitions.
Since the Saudi takeover, Newcastle have spent just over £117 million on new additions, from Bruno Guimarães and Kieran Trippier, to Pope – the latest arrival. They’re building a squad capable of a top half finish, and perhaps even a finish inside the European places. Their form at the back end of last season would certainly confirm that.
Downie revealed Howe’s assurances to Pope, telling GiveMeSport: “Pope, an England international goalkeeper with a World Cup just around the corner, isn’t going to come in to be the number two.
“From what I understand, he has had assurances that he is going to play the majority of the games.”
TIF Thoughts on Nick Pope…
Of course, this will come as bad news for Martin Dubravka who appeared in 26 Premier League games last season, despite missing six games through injury. So, with Pope now set for extended minutes it seems, perhaps Dubravka may backtrack on his hint that he’s set to stay at the Magpies next season.
Pope always seemed likely to leave Burnley following their relegation; he’s simply too good to stay in the Championship. And, in truth, Newcastle is an ideal move. He instantly improves the position and takes the Magpies up a level or two.
With the World Cup coming up this winter, too, Pope will hope to enjoy a defining campaign at St James’ Park. The England goalkeeping spots are far from set in stone, especially those behind Jordan Pickford.
Dean Henderson, reportedly set to go on loan at Nottingham Forest, according to Sky Sports, will be competing for a place, as well as Sam Johnstone, set for Crystal Palace, according to The Athletic, to hand Pope a tougher task when it comes to getting a seat on the plane to Qatar.
As things stand, Pope will be confident of maintaining his place, however.