England boss Gareth Southgate explains decision to omit Nick Pope

England boss Gareth Southgate feels Nick Pope is still finding his best form after injury.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 4:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th September 2021, 4:04 pm
Nick Pope

And he explained he has selected Arsenal’s summer signing Aaron Ramsdale ahead of him due to his better performances so far this season.

Pope missed Euro 2020 after undergoing knee surgery after the last Premier League game of the season, with Sam Johnstone and Ramsdale joining the squad after Manchester United’s Dean Henderson was also ruled out through injury.

Pope recovered to start the first Premier League game of this season, but has come under scrutiny for some of the goals the Clarets have conceded, particularly Jamie Vardy’s second at Leicester last Saturday.

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And Southgate said: "Aaron was with us all summer, so we had the opportunity to work with him for a long period of time and get to understand his strengths.

“Nick is still, I think, coming back from the injury he had a little bit, and I think Aaron is just in a better vein of form at the moment.

"From Aaron’s perspective, I think the move to a club with high expectation, a style of play where he is asked to build with his feet from the back which he is coping with really well.

"That is an important factor for us when I look at the biggest matches in particular to be able to do that as a goalkeeper.”