England International Goalkeeper Nick Pope signs for Newcastle United

Newcastle United have bolstered their Goalkeeping ranks with the signing of current England International, Nick Pope from Burnley FC for a fee to be around £10m. Pope has signed a 4year contract with the Magpies and is Eddie Howe’s second signing of the summer following the arrival of Matt Targett.

The 30year old told NUFCTV in his first interview with his new club “Now I’m here I can’t wait to get started. The deal has taken a couple of weeks to come to fruition but it got over the line really quickly, and I’m delighted to be here and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into it”.

Newcastle United Head Coach Eddie Howe has this to say about his new signing, “Nick is an exceptional Premier League and International level goalkeeper so I’m very pleased to be adding strong competition to a very important position. There has been a lot of interest in him from other clubs this summer, so I’d like to thank our owners and everyone behind the scenes for getting us ahead of the competition. I’m delighted he is joining us as we prepare for the exciting challenge ahead”.

Pope began his football career at the age of ten when he joined the youth set up at Ipswich Town FC. After being released by Ipswich when he was 16 years old, he joined Bury Town. During his time at Bury Town, his manager Richard Wilkins described Pope as “the most naturally talented player to progress through the ranks at West Sussex Sports Academy and Bury Town, I honestly think Nick Pope can go all the way to the top”.

During a 2-1 win over Billericay Town, Pope was spotted by scouts of Charlton Athletic and invited to partake in a trial with the club. After impressing during the trial, Pope was signed by Charlton on a two-year contract on 24th May 2011. The Addicks also provided the financial support for Pope to study for a degree in Sports Science at the University of Roehampton. In 2012, Pope would go on to sign a new contract with Charlton. He finally before made his debut on the 4th May 2013 in the last game of the 2012-13 Championship campaign in a 4-1 victory against Bristol City. During his time contracted to Charlton Athletic, Pope had loan spells at Harrow Borough, Welling United, Cambridge United, Aldershot, York City and Bury where he helped them achieve promotion from League Two. He made 33 appearances for the Addicks in total between 2011-2016.

On the 19th July 2016, Pope signed for Premier League side Burnley on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee. He made his Premier League debut on the 10th September 2017 against Crystal Palace when he was brought on during the first half to replace the injured Tom Heaton. Burnley won 1-0. The following week he made his first Premier League start against Liverpool which finished 1-1. In May 2019, Pope signed a new contract which would keep him at the club until 2023. Pope would narrowly miss out on the following seasons Golden Glove award thanks to Burnley conceding two goals in the last game of the season. Apart from missing out on the golden glove, he had a largely successful season by featuring in all their Premier League fixtures whilst keeping 15 clean sheets in the process. During his time at Burnley, Pope won Burnley’s Player of the Year award twice and helped the Clarets to qualify for Europe in 2017/18. He was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in 2019/20.

On 15th March 2018, Pope was called up to the England National side for the first time when he was named in the 23 man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. His England debut would come on the 7th June 2018 in a friendly versus Costa Rica where he came on as a 65th minute substitute. His first competitive appearance for the national side came on the 17th November 2019 in a 4-0 win over Kosovo. Pope would go onto become the first England goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in each of his first six appearances for the national side. This feat was achieved in March 2021 when England defeated Albania 2-0.