Former Newcastle United man gets shock England call-up as fresh injury blow confirmed
Pope and Kieran Trippier were the two Newcastle players represented in the England squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine later this month. But a minor injury to Pope has seen him drop out of Gareth Southgate’s squad despite playing the full 90 minutes of United’s 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest on Friday night.
Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Fraser Forster has been called-up to replace Pope in the Three Lions squad. The 35-year-old has been a regular at Spurs in recent weeks with first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris currently out injured.
Born in Hexham, Forster spent seven years at Newcastle as a youngster and was loaned out several times before joining Celtic permanently in 2012. Despite not making a competitive appearance for The Magpies, Forster has been able to forge a solid career for himself as a goalkeeper as he won seven major trophies with Celtic before returning to the Premier League with Southampton and later Spurs – earning six England caps in the process.
But Forster hasn’t appeared for England since 2016 and is likely to remain on the bench in the upcoming qualifier matches with Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale Southgate’s preferred options.
Pope’s withdrawal from the England squad is a precaution given the recent treatment he has been receiving on a ‘minor injury’. It has not been confirmed if he will now travel to Dubai for Newcastle’s warm-weather training camp ahead of the return to Premier League action against Manchester United on April 2 (4:30pm kick-off).