Nick Pope has made an astonishing start to life in the Premier League.
Signed for £1m from Charlton Athletic after they were relegated from the Championship in 2016, he has had to be patient for his chance.
But Tom Heaton’s dislocated shoulder presented an opportunity for him, and he has kept eight clean sheets in 14 appearances.
Boss Sean Dyche hailed his contribution: “Tom was relegated when I signed him, got slaughtered for it, my first signing here.
“You’ve got to have belief in the people you’re looking at, sometimes goalies can learn a lot from that experience, when you’re getting peppered. The main thing about Tom was I knew him and saw him, a keeper giving everything to keep a clean sheet every week, and not, getting loads of goals put past him, but every week going about his business - ‘I am going to keep a clean sheet’. You could see it in his performances.
“Popey has been like that in a different way, maturing slowly but surely. We had to talk him through it, when he first came he wasn’t even on the bench, he was behind Robbo and Tom, and I said he’d learn a lot before he got a chance. Then last season at the end, Robbo stepped aside, like the fantastic pro he is, and then Popey started to come though, to get a feel. When he finally gets a chance, he’s confident, I’m confident in him, and he’s performed. There’s a long way to go but he’s made a very healthy start to his career at this level.”