Newcastle: 'Exceptional' 6 ft 4 star has 'had assurances' at St James' Park

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe waving at the crowd

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has given latest signing Nick Pope ‘assurances’ that he will be the new first choice goalkeeper at St James’ Park, according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.

Pope has become the Magpies’ second signing of the summer, following Matt Targett through the door after his loan move was made permanent.

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What’s the latest news involving Pope?

Pope was unable to keep Burnley in the Premier League last season, with them dropping into the Championship on the final day thanks to a narrow defeat to Newcastle.

However, he has made a speedy return to the top flight thanks to the Tyneside giants forking out £10million to lure him away from Turf Moor.

Howe was clearly overjoyed to have secured the 30-year-old’s services as he described Pope as ‘an exceptional Premier League and international level goalkeeper’ following his arrival.

Pope, an eight-cap England international, was keen to head back into the top tier of English football with the World Cup – hosted in Qatar later this year – on the horizon.

He will compete with Martin Dubravka for the number one jersey at St James’ Park having made 141 Premier League appearances during his time on Burnley’s books.

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What has Keith Downie said about Pope?

Downie understands Pope has made the switch to Newcastle having been made aware that he will overtake Dubravka in the pecking order.

The Sky Sports reporter believes the move would not have been possible unless Howe insisted he was not being drafted in to play second fiddle to the Slovakian.

Downie told GIVEMESPORT: “Pope, an England international goalkeeper with a World Cup just around the corner, isn’t going to come in to be the number two.

“From what I understand, he has had assurances that he is going to play the majority of the games.”

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How do Pope and Dubravka compare?

Although Pope suffered relegation last season, FBref statistics show he boasted a better save percentage ratio and conceded less goals per 90 minutes than Dubravka.

Also, over the course of his Premier League career, the 6 ft 4 30-year-old has kept 47 clean sheets, which is 10 more than the current Newcastle number one.

That would seem to suggest Pope is a safe pair of hands between the sticks and Howe, who was appointed as the Magpies’ boss last November, has successfully found an upgrade ahead of his first full season at the St James’ Park helm.

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