Could we see the first Â£100m goalkeeper?
Nick Pope believes we could be close to seeing the first Â£100m goalkeeper.
After seeing Southampton and Holland defender Virgil van Dijk become the world’s most expensive centre back ever, completing a £75m move to Liverpool, the Clarets keeper thinks transfer fees could continue to sky rocket.
This summer, England keeper Jordan Pickford cost Everton £30m after making the switch from Sunderland, and Pope - himself being touted for an England call up himself after nine clean sheets in 17 Premier League appearances - said: “I think it’s a sign of the times a little bit with how money is in the game nowadays and transfer fees.
“I don’t think it’s long before there’ll be a £100m defender. I don’t think it’s a massive surprise to anyone.
“I think you look at the numbers and say they are high because they are higher than we are used to and what records have been before.
“Maybe in five years’ time that won’t seem such a high price.
“You might see £200m. You don’t know. Where are the limits?
“You might see a £100m goalkeeper. It’s hard to see where the limits are at this time.
“It’s obviously a lot of money but we will see how much it really is moving forward.”
Pope has made a remarkable start to life at the top level, after replacing the injured Tom Heaton in September, but is the first to praise the players in front of him, who he feels have made his job easier: “Thirty-three points we’re on now. We’ve had a great start to the season with a great foundation.
“We are playing some good football, as well, so I think everyone is happy with the season up to this point.
“I’ve done okay. I’ve enjoyed being part of this team, to be honest. The lads in front of me have been superb and helped me out massively.
“Your first games in the Premier League and your Premier League debut are never easy and I can’t thank them enough to be honest, and so far, so good.”
The former Charlton man waited just over a season for a chance after a £1m move in the summer of 2016, and added: “You have to have a bit of patience. You have to train hard and keep yourself ready, is the main thing.
“You never know when an opportunity will come, so what’s lucky about this club is how we train every day.
“We train hard and we have a great goalie group, with Billy Mercer leading us. When we go and train with the team it’s 100 per cent every day. We train like we want to play.
“For a person out of the team, it’s a massive plus for when you do get your opportunity you feel ready, and we have seen that with lads coming into the team.
“We have made a lot of changes – forced some of them – and the lads that have come in have been able to slot straight in.”
Pope arrived at Turf Moor with a clean plan from the manager, to learn under Heaton and Paul Robinson, before being eased into the match day squad, and he has taken his chance this season.
He hailed Dyche’s management skills: “He’s level-headed and he’s honest. As a player that’s a massive thing. If you feel you’ve got someone who is honest and will tell you straight, that’s all you can ask for.”