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Newcastle ‘keeper Pope out for ‘around four months’ with injury

By AFP - Dec 07,2023 - Last updated at Dec 07,2023

Newcastle United’s English goalkeeper #22 Nick Pope reacts after picking up an injury during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England, on Saturday (AFP photo)

LONDON — Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope will be sidelined for “around four months” with a shoulder injury, manager Eddie Howe said on Wednesday as his list of absentees continued to grow.

England’s Pope, who needed surgery on his same left shoulder in 2018 while a Burnley player, suffered a dislocation when diving during last weekend’s 1-0 Premier League victory over Manchester United.

He joins Newcastle’s lengthy injury list which has left Howe making very few substitutions in recent matches, with several youth-team players on the bench.

“There’s no doubt he needs an operation so he will be out for a period of time, we think around four months,” Howe told a press conference ahead of Thursday’s league game at Everton.

“It’s the same shoulder [as 2018 injury] but a different part of the shoulder. There was no reason for that happening.”

Media reports have linked Newcastle with both out-of-favour Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale and former Man United number one David de Gea, who is a free agent.

But Howe was keen to play down speculation of signing a short-term replacement in January.

“I’ve seen a lot of the media headlines and press speculation regarding goalkeepers and other players,” said Howe.

“We’ve not made any enquiries or decisions regarding our recruitment leading into January and I have said many times that is because if we were to recruit now we would probably be recruiting in every position on the pitch because we have injuries everywhere throughout the squad.

“Hopefully that picture looks different by the time January comes.”

Slovakian Martin Dubravka replaced Pope as a late substitute against Manchester United and will likely start at Goodison Park.

He was sent on loan to Old Trafford last season but played two Premier League matches for Newcastle after being recalled from Man United in January.

“We really believe in Martin. I have always had that high opinion of him,” added Howe.

“Martin is a high-class goalkeeper, he is a brilliant shot-stopper himself.

“He is very good with his feet and his distribution, so there’s no hesitation in bringing Martin into the team and I hope he does really well.”

Newcastle have won their last two league matches, either side of a 1-1 Champions League draw at Paris Saint-Germain, despite their injury woes.

But Howe wants his side to improve away from home, after just one win on their travels in six Premier League games this season.

“I’m looking forward to the game. We’re going to Tottenham next, we’ll need to work on our away form.”

Newcastle sit sixth in the table, just three points adrift of fourth-placed Aston Villa.


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