Three Newcastle United players will be hoping to start for England at the World Cup, and Jamie Redknapp believes Nick Pope deserves to be in Gareth Southgate’s XI.
The 30-year-old is one of three goalkeepers going to the tournament in Qatar. He has been selected alongside Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale.
It is the second World Cup in a row that Pope is going to, having played second fiddle to Pickford in Russia. The Everton number one has been incredibly reliable for England in recent years, but the competition behind him has now increased.
Ramsdale has helped Arsenal to top of the Premier League, while Pope has been sensational since his £10million move to Newcastle. He picked up another clean sheet on Saturday – his eighth in all competitions since arriving at St James’ Park.
Eddie Howe’s first choice stopper has done his best to put Pickford under pressure, and pundit Jamie Redknapp thinks he should be in the starting lineup for England.
Jamie Redknapp wants Nick Pope to start for England
Sky Sports presented a World Cup preview on Sunday night. Redknapp was one of four pundits involved, and named his England XI to start the first group game against Iran next week.
He included Kieran Trippier at right-back, and also named Pope as his goalkeeper.
“I’ve got Nick Pope,” Redknapp said.
“I’m picking this team, first day of the tournament. I just prefer Pope, Ramsdale to Pickford. That’s just how I would do it.”
Redknapp the only one to pick Pope
While Redknapp thinks Pope should start, the other Sky Sports pundits did not agree. Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and Karen Carney all named their XI to start against Iran, and went for Pickford over Pope.
Pope’s form has been impressive, and he ended the first half of the season in impressive style against Chelsea. His save to deny Conor Gallagher was exceptional. And Pope’s heroics came just hours after Pickford endured a shocker for Everton in a 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth.
Based on club form, Pope should start. However, it seems incredibly likely that it will be Pickford. He is one of Southgate’s favourites, and he has proven in the past that he will heavily lean on the players who have performed for him in the past.