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Pope pens new Burnley deal

STAYING PUT: Nick Pope has signed a new contract at Burnley
STAYING PUT: Nick Pope has signed a new contract at Burnley

Nick Pope’s recent ascent into the spotlight has been rewarded in the form of a new contract at Burnley.

The goalkeeper, who hails from Wicken, joined The Clarets from Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2016 for an undisclosed fee.

However, he was limited to just cup appearances last term, featuring three times in the FA Cup and once in the League Cup.

His Premier League chance arrived last month, though, when Burnley’s number one and England international Tom Heaton suffered a dislocated shoulder during an encounter with Crystal Palace.

Pope came on to keep a clean sheet in the 1-0 win and has two further shut outs to his name since then, as well as putting in a Man-of-the-Match display in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.

And now Burnley have moved to tie the 25-year-old down to fresh terms, keeping him at Turf Moor until 2020 with the option of extending his stay by a further 12 months.

Pope told the club website: “I’m delighted to sign a new contract and extend my stay here.

“I’ve been really happy since I signed last year, so I’m really pleased to get it done.

“We are still growing as a club and I’m growing as a player. That’s what I wanted to do when I first signed.

“It’s been lucky on my part how it’s come about – a bit by default. But I’ve really enjoyed it since I’ve been in the team.

“The lads in front of me have been excellent and helped me a lot – especially the two centre-halves (James Tarkowski and Ben Mee).

“It’s been a good few weeks for me personally as well.

“Everyone at the club is happy we’ve made a good start and we’ve got to build on that now.”

Meanwhile, Burnley manager Sean Dyche added: “We were already in discussions with Nick before he had the chance to start the games he has done recently and we’re pleased they have been finalised.

“He had been working hard to continue his development out of the team.

“He is continuing that since he got into the side and we look forward to him progressing further as an important member of the squad.”

With Heaton expected to remain sidelined for a number of months, Pope is likely to have the chance to build upon his recent impressive form.

Ahead of Saturday’s home game against West Ham United, a stat from Opta has shown that the former West Suffolk College student has saved 94.4 per cent of the shots he has faced in the Premier League — a higher rate than any goalkeeper in Europe’s top five leagues and a better ratio than the likes of Manchester United’s David de Gea, Juventus’ Gianluigi Buffon and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer.

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