Newcastle United

Newcastle United: Journalist heaps praise on new signing

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Daily Express journalist Ryan Taylor has heaped praise on Newcastle United’s signing of Nick Pope.

The 30-year-old completed his £10m move to St James’ Park, signing a four-year contract which comes into effect from 1st July.

The former Charlton Athletic shot-stopper was keen to stay in the Premier League after Burnley’s relegation to the Championship to ensure he remains in Gareth Southgate’s England plans ahead of the World Cup in Qatar this winter.

Pope, who had one year left on his contract at Burnley, will challenge Martin Dubravka for the No 1 jersey at St James’ Park, boosting Eddie Howe’s options considerably.

And journalist Taylor provided his take on the move.

He tweeted“£10m-£12m for Nick Pope is buy of the summer to date. Almost certain to win Newcastle a significant number of points next season. Homegrown & clear upgrade on Martin Dubravka. NUFC still not giving up on Sven Botman, either.”

TIF Thoughts on Pope move to Newcastle…

£10m is an absolute snip for the Magpies.

Pope has established himself as one of the English top flight’s most consistent shot-stoppers in the last few years, becoming a crucial figure for the Clarets and he will immediately come in and add quality and experience to Eddie Howe’s rearguard.

It will be a real selection headache for the former Bournemouth coach, who now possesses two perfectly capable goalkeepers to choose from next season.

When compared with other goalkeepers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year, Pope ranks in the 99th percentile for launch percentage and frequency of defensive actions made outside the penalty area, and also ranks in the top 18% for saves (via FBRef), so he could well be a “clear upgrade” on Dubravka, as Taylor suggests.

Despite the Clarets’ relegation last term, Pope was influential in helping them keep nine clean sheets – one more than the Slovakian managed on Tyneside – as well as recording a save percentage ratio of 72% compared to Dubravka’s 68% whilst also registering 121 saves, which was the joint-fourth best in the Premier League.

If the Toon can add Sven Botman to their ranks this summer, they could well be enjoying their best summer window for a long while.

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