The North London side are considering an approach for Burnley’s out of favour goalkeeper as they seek a viable replacement for the retiring Petr Cech.
Bernd Leno might have set himself up for the No.1 spot at Arsenal for next season, but the North London side are in the market in search for another goalkeeper for next season. The Sun reports, that Burnley’s forgotten man Nick Pope could be the answer as Arsenal are tipped to make an approach in the summer.
Arsenal are on the lookout for a viable replacement for the retiring Petr Cech and are evaluating their options including the one cap England International. The Gunners were also linked earlier with Legia Warsaw keeper Radoslaw Majecki, although that trail seems to have gone cold for now. Additionally the Gunners had also been linked with a move for Juventus’ on loan goalkeeper Emil Audero.
Alternatively, the North Londoners were also considering installing current third choice keeper, Emiliano Martinez as Leno’s understudy for next season. Those plans have now seemingly changed as Arsenal would need a keeper with hands-on experience in the Premier League, and someone like Pope would undoubtedly fit the bill.
The Burnley keeper has been restricted to only FA Cup appearances this season, as Sean Dyche has preferred his other two keepers in Tom Heaton and Joe Hart. The former Manchester City star looked like he could be the Clarets’ first choice stopper, but Hart has not started a game since Boxing Day.
However, Hart is unlikely to move elsewhere in the summer and is prepared for healthy competition with Heaton starting next season. That could be bad news for Pope, who has seen his name cut from the team sheet altogether for Premier League games, despite impressing Dyche and others last season.
During the 2017/18 season, partly due to Heaton’s long term injury, Dyche afforded Pope much game time. In the 35 appearances he made in the league, Pope managed an impressive 12 clean sheets during the season. It was his last season’s form that attracted the interest of Gareth Southgate, as the England manager handed Pope his international debut.
Apart from England, Pope also attracted interests from other clubs in the league including Tottenham. Spurs’ did not pursue the player in the summers, in fact, they did not sign anyone during that window, as they were looking for an understudy for Hugo Lloris. Paulo Gazzaniga upturn in form has led to Spurs cooling their interest but for Arsenal to register theirs.
The goalkeeper is said to be valued at £10 million by Burnley, although Arsenal could look to lower the price or do so by including some of the fringe players at the club as part of any deal. In one way it makes sense to recruit someone with experience for the No.2 role over a player like Martinez who does not have much experience. However, signing Pope could be useful for Arsenal, primarily if they could lower the asking price set by Burnley.