Howe hails 'exceptional' signing of goalkeeper Nick Pope from Burnley

Pope was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in 2019/20. Credit: PA

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has said the signing of England international Nick Pope adds 'strong competition' to the club's lineup of goalkeepers.

Pope signed for the Magpies from Burnley on Thursday 23 June on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

The shot-stopper has made eight appearances for England, making history last year when he became the first keeper to keep clean sheets on his first six appearances.

He spent six seasons at Turf Moor, being named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in 2019/20 and making a number of show-reel saves last season - though they were not enough to keep Burnley in the top flight.

Newcastle's current number one, 33-year-old Martin Dúbravka, is well-liked at St James' Park.

Howe welcomes the spirit of competition he expects the expects newly acquired Pope to create.

"Nick is an exceptional Premier League and international level goalkeeper, so I’m very pleased to be adding strong competition to a very important position," he said.

"There has been a lot of interest in him from other clubs this summer, so I’d like to thank our owners and everyone behind the scenes for getting us ahead of the competition.

"I’m delighted he is joining us as we prepare for the exciting challenge ahead."

Pope started his career with boyhood club Ipswich Town before dropping into non-league with Bury Town. From there, he joined Charlton Athletic before - following a series of loan moves - signing for Burnley in the summer of 2016, making a total of 155 appearances.

The 30-year-old said: "Now I'm here, I can't wait to get started. The deal has taken a couple of weeks to come to fruition, but it got over the line really quickly and I'm delighted to be here and I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into it."

Pope becomes Howe's second signing of the summer, following Matt Targett, who joined United on a permanent deal earlier this month following a successful loan spell last term.