Martin Dubravka has fresh competition at St James’ Park, with Newcastle signing Nick Pope from Burnely.
The England international arrives on a four-year deal, costing just £10million from the Clarets. It’s a great piece of business, and looks like a very smart signing.
Eddie Howe has been keen to add a goalkeeper for a while. There were even reports of Dean Henderson joining the club in January.
But the Magpies have gone with Pope, who will have ambitions of becoming Newcastle’s first choice stopper.
Pope has ‘received assurances’ ahead of competing with Dubravka
Newcastle suddenly have two great goalkeepers in their ranks, but only one of them can play…unless one of them can do a job up front.
Dubravka has been Newcastle’s number one keeper since joining the club in 2018, with only injury keeping him out of the side. But Pope has also been first choice at Burnley, and won’t have came to the North East to sit on the bench.
According to the Athletic, the 30-year-old has been assured that he has a ‘genuine’ chance of playing regular football this season.
Pope will be desperate to play, otherwise his chance of going to the World Cup this winter could be jeopardised. Then again, the alternative was playing in the second tier for Burnley, which wouldn’t have done him any favours either.
It feels inevitable that the new recruit will oust Dubravka as the club’s first choice. While the Slovakian has been excellent in a Toon shirt, Pope feels like a level above – if only a small one.
Pre-season may give us a hint as to who Howe is favouring, but we won’t truly find out until the season starts on August 6th against Nottingham Forest.
With the players set to return to training soon, the battle between Pope and Dubravka will commence. They should raise each other’s levels, which can only help Newcastle in the long run.