‘Absolutely’ - Eddie Howe doubles down on Newcastle United star’s future as transfer dilemma looms

Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick PopeNewcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope
Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope | Getty Images
Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope recently returned from a long-term shoulder injury

Eddie Howe has confirmed Nick Pope remains a “vital part” of Newcastle United’s immediate future.

Reports have linked the Magpies with a new goalkeeper this summer following recent woes. Pope suffered a serious shoulder injury in November - the second of his career - forcing Newcastle into a rethink.

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Martin Dubravka stepped in and failed to replicate his previous heroics as a Toon player. Howe’s side conceded 46 goals in 24 games, with Loris Karius between the sticks for four of them against Arsenal.

Karius is set to leave once his contract expires next month - leaving Newcastle a keeper light. Howe named Pope in recent clashes with Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur, insisting he is still “getting his rhythm” after a long lay-off.

"Nick has come back from a serious injury, a big problem to a big area of the body for a goalkeeper. He has still been getting his rhythm back from the training work he has been doing. 

“I am really pleased with how he looks. He has continued to improve through training, every game I have a decision to make.”

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Arsenal shot-stopper Aaron Ramsdale and Valencia prodigy Giorgi Mamardashvili have been linked with big-money moves to St James’ Park. But Howe stayed coyed on the goalkeeping situation, which must be resolved soon, following the 8-0 drubbing against A-League All Stars - insisting Pope is still a key cog in his team

“Yeah absolutely (whether Pope has a future at Newcastle),” he said. “That (speculation) has not come from anyone connected with the football club, I can assure you of that. Nick is a vital part of what we are doing.”

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