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Southgate should give £10m Newcastle United man chance over 24-year-old to prove his World Cup credentials – TBR View
Photo by Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Southgate should give £10m Newcastle United man chance over 24-year-old to prove his World Cup credentials – TBR View

Arsenal and Newcastle United fans will have eyes on Gareth Southgate’s England selections during the international break.

Southgate’s first choice goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is unavailable due to a thigh injury.

This is going to give an opportunity to one of his deputies ahead of the November’s World Cup.

Southgate has called up Newcastle’s Nick Pope, Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale and Nottingham Forest’s Dean Henderson.

The trio have just 12 caps between them, but a huge chance to make their case to start in Qatar.

Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Henderson’s appears to be Southgate’s fourth choice and has only received a call-up due to Pickford absence.

The choice for Southgate is therefore between his other two stoppers, and the England manager should Pope a chance to challenge Pickford.

Newcastle’s new number one was the only goalkeeper nominated for August’s Player of the Month award.

He was won save of the month after thwarting Adam Lallana at close range.

Southgate should give Pope his England chance

Signed from Burnley for £10m this summer, Pope immediately replaced Martin Dubravka between the sticks.

Neil Warnock believes he’s one of the best keepers in the Premier League right now.

Ramsdale, meanwhile, has been described as a ‘great addition’ to the Arsenal team by Kieran Tierney.

Both keepers have kept the same number of clean sheets this season after seven matches.

They’ve also conceded the same number of goals, seven, but there’s a big difference between the number of shots they’ve faced.

Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Ramsdale’s shots saved percentage is 61%, compared to Pope’s 81.6% (all stats via FBRef).

In fact, only Pickford and Bournemouth’s new stopped Neto have a higher save rate than the ‘excellent’ Pope.

Looking deeper into the stats, Ramsdale expected goals against is only 4.4, meaning he’s conceded more goals than he should have.

In contrast, Pope’s expected goals against 9.4, meaning he’s prevented more goals than the average goalkeeper is expected to.

Pope: Better shot stopper, similar passer

One of Pickford’s most important attributes for England is his ability on the ball.

Despite Burnley’s reputation for simple, long ball football, Pope’s surprisingly adept with the ball at his feet.

He has a similar pass completion rate to Ramsdale for long passes.

Pope does tend to go longer with his passes than Ramsdale, but has significantly shortened his passes compared to his time at Burnley.

Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

The Newcastle stopper is one of the most dominant keepers outside of his area, which would allow England’s defence to sit further up the pitch.

Both keepers command their area well, but Pope tends to deal with crosses into the box much better.

Southgate should give Pope his chance in England’s final two group games, although Ramsdale would act as an able deputy.

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