England keeper Pope commits his future to Burnley
Burnley keeper Nick Pope has committed his future to the club, signing a new contract.
The 27-year-old – who went to the World Cup with England last summer – has had a frustrating season, suffering a dislocated shoulder at Aberdeen last July, before seeing his way to the side barred by Joe Hart and then Tom Heaton.
But the former Charton man has signed a deal that will keep him with the Clarets until June, 2023 with the option of a further 12 months.
“I am in a good place. The shoulder feels good and I’m looking forward to coming back ready for next season,” said Pope.
“With the contract being for a further four years that will carry me through the majority of my career.
“When you look at a long deal like that, you take into context the club you’re at and the people you will be around every day.
“I love being where I am and working with the lads every day. It’s an enjoyable place to be.”
Pope is a remarkable breakthrough season with the club after Heaton suffered a dislocated shoulder in September, 2017.
Pope went on to become an ever-present for the remainder of the season, with a string of outstanding performances helping the Clarets finish seventh in the Premier League and earn a place in the Europa League.
He won a first England cap in June, 2018 in a warm-up game for the World Cup Finals in Russia where he was part of Gareth Southgate’s squad which reached the semi-finals.
Pope only featured twice last season after recovering from his shoulder injury, playing both of Burnley’s FA Cup ties.
But his decision to commit to a new long-term deal gives the Clarets a major tonic as they begin preparations for a fourth successive top-flight campaign.
“I want to get back to where I left off and help the club build on the three years I’ve had here so far,” added Pope, whose existing contract had 12 months left to run.
“Last year was a bit of a non-starter for me with the injury. It was frustrating and didn’t pan out as I hoped after such a high the season before.
“But it’s been a fantastic time here and I want to help the club to keep moving forward.”
The competition for places within the goalkeeping department at Turf Moor had prompted speculation that Pope might be a target for other clubs this summer.
But the Clarets’ determination to secure his services for the foreseeable future means one of the most highly rated goalkeepers in the country will remain as a key part of manager Sean Dyche’s plans.
Dyche said: “After a difficult, injury-affected year, through no fault of his own, Nick lost a season’s work.
“But we are absolutely delighted that he has now agreed a new long-term deal, which mirrors the aim of the club.
“We have always said we want to be strong in the market and that includes when it comes to other clubs trying to get our players. This is a clear sign of that.
“Nick has shown himself to be a real professional and we are delighted to have him at the club until 2024 and look forward to continuing the good work he has already achieved.”