Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope has withdrawn from the England squad due to injury and has been replaced by Newcastle academy graduate, Fraser Forster.
A report in The Athletic said that Pope had missed the majority of Newcastle’s training sessions prior to playing the full 90 minutes against Nottingham Forest on Friday and has now withdrawn from the England squad to receive treatment.
It hasn’t been revealed what the injury is or indeed the extent of it, but you’d like to think that if hew as able to play the full game on Friday it can’t be too worrying and a couple of weeks resting may be enough to have him back to full fitness.
Pope has been replaced by a Newcastle academy graduate
Or maybe he just fancied a trip to Dubai with his club teammates instead of sitting on the bench with England.
Obviously, I jest.
Interestingly, the £10million signing has been replaced by another man with a Newcastle connection as Southgate has called up 35-year-old Fraser Forster.
Forster came through the Newcastle academy, another product of the Wallsend Boys Club. However, despite being on the books for six years at Newcastle, he never made a single first-team appearance and had to make do with turning out for the reserves or going out on loan.
After two successful loan spells north of the border at Scottish high-fliers Celtic, Forster made his move to Glasgow permanent and went on to be their first-choice ‘keeper for another two years before switching to Southampton.
Now at Tottenham, Forster has impressed having had to step in to cover the injured Hugo Lloris and his performances have now earned him his first England call-up since 2016.
Pope’s last England outing didn’t go well
Nick Pope’s last outing for England ended with many question marks over his performance. It was his time to shine going into the World Cup, his league form suggested he should be England’s number one but he fluffed his lines on his audition.
Pope was at fault for Germany’s equaliser as England drew 3-3 in the Nations League game back in September 2022 and that seemed to be enough to make sure that Jordan Pickford retained his place as number one for the World Cup.
It’s therefore unlikely that Pope would have featured in the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers, so his withdrawal shouldn’t be too costly for Gareth Southgate. It will be beneficial for Eddie Howe as he takes his charges to Dubai to prepare them for an important run-in.