Bernd Leno may have been brought in last summer to be Arsenal’s new first choice goalkeeper, but that isn’t stopping Unai Emery from shopping around for a top notch replacement for Petr Cech to give Leno some competition next season.
Cech announced his retirement a couple of weeks ago and attention has now turned to who will replace the Czech stopper at the Emirates stadium.
David Ospina, Emiliano Martinez and Matt Macey are all currently out on loan and are not believed to be in Unai Emery’s plans for next season.
And, according to reports, Burnley’s Nick Pope is top of the gaffer’s shopping list in this area.
75.39% – Petr Cech (443 matches)
74.76% – Edwin van der Sar (257 matches)
74.00% – David De Gea (263 matches)
73.78% – Marcus Hahnemann (115 matches)
73.18% – Jens Lehmann (148 matches) pic.twitter.com/Vo1AY8oi9u
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 15, 2019
The Clarets stopper enjoyed a remarkable season at Turf Moor last term, establishing himself as Sean Dyche’s number one after Tom Heaton was ruled out for most of the season with injury.
I’d take Nick Pope to be our number two
— AFC BAM (@ArsenalHomerton) February 17, 2019
WAIT….Nick Pope…The Nick Pope….Not another Nick Pope is there? https://t.co/4zXHXWVWmn
— Rhythm of Zat Knight 🔴⚫️⚪️ (@93rdmin) February 17, 2019
Pope’s form was so good that he ended up earning himself a place in Gareth Southgate’s 23 man England squad for the World Cup. However, a dislocated shoulder suffered during a Europa League qualifying game against Aberdeen last summer has seen Pope sidelined for the entirety of the current campaign.
Now, with Heaton and Joe Hart as competition at Turf Moor, Pope may find first team games hard to come by under Sean Dyche and the Burnley manager has confirmed that one of the three is likely to leave the Clarets this summer.
The 26-year-old would likely command a fee of around £10 million, according to reports. Yet, with Pope very much part of the England set up when fit and playing, he’s unlikely to want a move that doesn’t see him playing plenty of games.
Bernd Leno shouldn’t be getting too comfortable between the sticks just yet.