Nick Pope makes Newcastle United transfer revelation as club attracts England players

It’s been 15 years since Newcastle United last had two players in an England squad.
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It hasn’t happened since Michael Owen and Scott Parker were called up together. Up until last October’s takeover, only Andy Carroll and Andros Townsend had subsequently represented England – and they only won a cap apiece during their time at United.

And the inclusion of Nick Pope and Kieran Trippier in Gareth Southgate’s latest squad is a sign of things to come.

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Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope.Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope.
Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope.
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During Mike Ashley’s time as owner, a move to St James’s Park wasn’t seen as a particularly good career move for an England international.

The 30-year-old goalkeeper – who could get a chance between the posts against Italy and Germany during the international break with Everton’s Jordan Pickford sidelined with an injury – hopes to win many more caps as a United player.

“I think international football’s something that’s earned by how you play for your club,” said Pope, who has made eight senior appearances for his country.

Nick Pope training with England in the summer.Nick Pope training with England in the summer.
Nick Pope training with England in the summer.
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“Newcastle now will hopefully be seen, and be grown to be seen, as a club where internationals will regularly come from.

“Moving here, and playing in this team, is something that will help me get England caps. I’m never going to be a goalkeeper that gets 50, 60 caps.

“I’m 30. I’m not being unrealistic, but I feel there’s more for me, and I want to see how many I get. It’s another ambition.”

Pope missed out on Euro 2020 last year after undergoing knee surgery, and he’s desperate to go to another major tournament, having been in England’s squad for the 2018 World Cup.

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“I was lucky enough to be part of the last one,” said Pope, who was called up along with Nottingham Forest loanee Dean Henderson and Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale. “I was unlucky or unfortunate to miss out on the Euros because of my knee surgery, so that fire’s still burning for myself.

“Being part of a major tournament for England is the biggest stage you can possibly get to.

“In a footballer’s career, you don’t see too many. If you get to three World Cups, you’ve done unbelievably well. It’s special to have that opportunity, and it’ll be a target.”

Pope – who has kept three clean sheets so far this season – didn’t discuss his imminent Newcastle move with Southgate in the summer, though he had plenty of questions for Trippier, who joined the club in January from Atletico Madrid.

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Asked if he spoke to Southgate about his club future, Pope said: “Not really. It wasn’t done by then (when he was called up for England’s summer fixtures).

“I was more battering Tripps with questions, asking him what it was like. I was asking what the club was like, what the players were like, just asking him general questions – and getting a feel for the club.”

Meanwhile, United bid for another England international, Leicester City midfielder James Maddison, in the summer.