Pundit Frank McAvennie believes West Ham United will sign Nick Pope this summer – and that he will displace Lukasz Fabianski as the No 1 goalkeeper at the club.
The eight-time England international has been a mainstay in the Burnley side since signing from Charlton Athletic in 2016, going on to make 155 appearances in all competitions for the Clarets, registering 53 clean sheets.
This Premier League season saw Burnley suffer relegation to the Championship, and as a result, Pope may be wishing for a move back into the top division – especially with the World Cup kicking off in November, where he’ll be hoping for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s squad.
The Hammers’ first-choice goalkeeper, Fabianski, is expected to extend his stay at the London Stadium to remain in east London beyond the summer, while the club are currently in talks to turn Alphonse Areola’s loan deal into a permanent move.
But should a deal not be possible for the France international to stay at the club, it’s believed that Burnley goalkeeper Pope could become the alternative target, with previous reports stating that David Moyes has shortlisted Pope as they finalise goalkeeping plans for next season.
And McAvennie believes the Clarets shot-stopper would “walk into West Ham as number one”.
He told West Ham Zone: “I think they’ll get him and I think they’ll get him at a good price as well.
“There’s no way he’ll want to go down a division. He’s got his money, he’s an England contender. He’s no Joe Hart. Joe Hart was a wonderful talent, and come to resurrect his career at Celtic. Pope’s not got to do that.
“He’ll walk into West Ham as number one, he’s a damn good ‘keeper.”
TIF Thoughts on McAvennie’s comments…
Despite Burnley’s relegation this season, the £13.5m-rated goalkeeper has enjoyed a tremendous campaign, becoming one of the most consistent in the league.
Picking up an impressive average SofaScore match rating of 6.99, the Soham-born ace, who was called ‘sensational’ by Jurgen Klopp back in 2020, picked up six clean sheets whilst also registering 3.4 shots per game at a stunning success rate of 72%.
We believe that would make Pope a terrific addition to the Hammers backline once Fabianski’s time at the London Stadium comes to an end. However, Moyes will have a pivotal decision on whether to snap him up now, as the £59k-per-week star could surely be attracting strong interest from elsewhere.