Tyneside legend Alan Shearer has said Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope should be England’s number one for the upcoming World Cup.
With the Toon star denying Luka Milivojevic, Jean-Philippe Mateta and Malcolm Ebiowei from the spot-kick, Pope will hope he has enhanced his chances of playing a major role for Gareth Southgate’s side later this month.
Shearer certainly thinks he should, given his demonstrated quality at St James’ Park this season.
Shearer says Pope should be England’s No.1
Since arriving at Darsley Park this summer, the 30-year-old has featured in every single Premier League fixture for Newcastle this term.
Compared with goalkeepers across Europe, the former Burnley man ranks in the top one percent for number of defensive actions outside of the penalty area. Additionally, he also ranks in the top four percent for save percentage – illustrating his safe hands in the Tyneside box.
Whilst he has definitely earned his consideration as England’s starting keeper, Southgate is certainly not a manager to make a lot of changes going into a tournament.
For years now, Everton star Jordan Pickford has retained his spot in net for the Three Lions.
At international competitions, the Merseyside man is yet to let his country down, with a number of emphatic performances a clear demonstration of his deservedness to be Southgate’s number one.
However, with Pope’s incredible form throwing a spanner in the works, this is an extremely tough decision for the England boss to make.
Whilst he is more likely to give Pickford the nod, other managers may see the choice differently – with Pope a solid option between the sticks.
Either way, the Newcastle man has been absolutely brilliant this season – especially against Palace last night.