Burnley keeper Nick Pope left out of preliminary England squad for Euro 2020; No place either for James Tarkowski

Nick Pope has been left out of England's preliminary squad for Euro 2020, after his decision to undergo minor knee surgery.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 1:00 pm
Nick Pope

Pope has not been given the chance to recover from today’s cartilage operation - with England's first game on June 13th against Croatia - with Sam Johnstone of West Brom and Aaron Ramsdale of Sheffield United called up alongside Jordan Pickford and Dean Henderson.

Pope has started four of England's last six internationals, the last three with Pickford out with an injury to his oblique abdominal muscle sustained in Everton's defeat against Burnley at Goodison Park.

In March, he became the first England goalkeeper to keep clean sheets in his first six internationals, breaking former Claret Chris Woods’ record.

He went 488 minutes without conceding, from his debut as a substitute against Costa Rica at Elland Road ahead of Russia 2018, before Poland's Jakub Moder beat him at Wembley, with England recovering to win 2-1.

However, he missed five of Burnley's last eight Premier League games with a shoulder and then a knee injury, forcing him to make the decision to go under the knife.

Sean Dyche said on Sunday: “Popey was hopeful of getting the game done today, to see how it felt, but in the end he had to make a decision, with the medical team as well, so he’ll have a minor operation this week (Tuesday) and we hope that goes well.”

Asked whether he was having the operation in order to be fit for the Euros, or whether it just needed doing, Dyche added: “He needs it (the operation), I think it’s a minor cartilage situation, he just felt a click in his knee, it settled down and he wanted to continue, but yesterday it was one of those, it was awkward and sore, and he just thought he had to get it done.

"It was quite a simple decision in the end, a tough decision, because we don’t know how long it will take to settle - it shouldn’t take long - but he’s had to make that decision.”

Asked if he still had a chance of making the Euros, Dyche said: ”I don’t know, once he’s had the surgery, we’ll have to see.”

James Tarkowski, twice called by Southgate in 2018, has also been overlooked, with the uncapped Ben Godfrey and Ben White called up, alongside Harry Maguire, John Stones, Conor Coady and Tyrone Mings, with cover from Reece James and Kyle Walker.