Nick Pope Has Been Amazing In Heaton’s Absence And He Deserves A Lot Of Credit
Tom Heaton definitely comes under the ‘top class’ category when it comes to players between the sticks in the Premier League. He has been astounding since Burnley got themselves promoted to the Premier League. Even when they were demoted to the Championship, manager Sean Dyche kept his faith in the impressive Heaton to guard the sticks for him.
In the process of being a Premier League stalwart, he also made his bow for the England team. Having been in Tom’s shadow, Nick Pope never really got a chance to prove himself. Nick arrived in 2016, when Burnley were back in the Championship. He arrived from Charlton Athletic, having been out on loan at several English league clubs. However, Nick Pope has traveled well in his career now and is taking the Premier League by storm.
Nick made it a double when he was nominated for the October Player of the Month gong as Sean Dyche was nominated for the Manager of the Month award. He kept two clean sheets in the impressive 1-0 wins over Everton and Newcastle United. The other two games ended up as draws for Burnley in what was an important and astounding month of Premier League football for them.
Pope, 25, has put himself on the radar of many clubs with his recent performances for Burnley. They will all be keeping an eye on his progress. Nick is still so young in terms of a goalkeeper’s age. It is obvious that Tom Heaton will replace him in the line-up once he becomes fit. So Pope should look to make the most of the opportunities given to him.
Young English goalkeeping talent is something that is at a premium right now and Premier League and Championship clubs alike will look to approach Nick Pope if he continues the same progress. There are some ageing goalkeepers in the Premier League and they could do with having Pope in their shadows. Particularly at Arsenal, where Cech is reaching the final few years of his career, Wenger would do well to sign a keeper of Pope’s calibre and make him fight with Ospina for a long-term place.
Pope, in his solitary impressive month for Burnley so far, has kept more clean sheets than Tom Heaton already, who could only muster one clean sheet in his 4 games for the club. Whereas Pope, has kept 4 clean sheets in 7 games, as Burnley have found their defensive solidity once again. Pope has also made 6 saves per goal and 4.29 saves per game, which is commendable.
With Heaton being out with a serious shoulder injury, it could be some time before he returns to the pitch. Pope should look to make the most, until then.
In the meantime, solid playing time at Burnley could give him international recognition. Something that young English talents relish when shed upon them.
Stats Courtesy: Squawka