Troy Deeney calls for Burnley player to be handed greater role at international level

Nick Pope of England.  (Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Getty Images)Nick Pope of England.  (Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Getty Images)
Nick Pope of England. (Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Getty Images)
Watford striker Troy Deeney has argued that Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope should retain England’s number one jersey over Jordan Pickford.

The Everton man is currently sidelined through injury, and in his absence, Pope has started back-to-back World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Albania.

The Three Lions have coasted to victories in both of those matches, with the 28-year-old barely touching the ball in either match.

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But even though he has had an easy time between the sticks in recent days, Pope has still managed to secure the illustrious distinction of being the first stopper in England’s history to keep clean sheets in all six of his first six caps.

And Deeney is very much of the opinion that he deserves to be Gareth Southgate’s first choice going into this summer’s European Championship.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “I know Pickford technically is the number one, but I feel more safe with Pope in goal.

"I think when you play with Pickford, or you watch Pickford, you’re always thinking, ‘Is that mistake coming?’.

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"I know that’s really harsh because every goalkeeper that makes a mistake will always get highlighted, but I just think when Pope plays – especially when he plays for Burnley – I don’t ever feel like he’s going to make a mistake.

"He’s solid, he’s reliable, and that's what you want from your goalkeeper, isn’t it?”

So far this season, conceded 32 goals in 28 Premier League matches, keeping nine clean sheets in the process.

By comparison, Pickford has conceded 29 in five games fewer, and has registered six clean sheets.