After reaching a career high point with the England national team at the 2018 World Cup this summer, Nick Pope‘s world has come crashing down.
The Burnley goalkeeper, who made his England debut in June and was included in the World Cup squad under Gareth Southgate, has suffered a shoulder injury in early Europa League action that will reportedly keep him out for around three months.
The 26-year-old goalkeeper collided with young Aberdeen striker Sam Cosgrove in the 14th minute of their Europa League meeting on Thursday, and suffered a dislocated shoulder. Pope has reportedly seen a specialist and the decision was made to have surgery to repair the damage, leaving him out for such a lengthy time.
Pope’s injury would see a pair of former Manchester United goalkeepers in Tom Heaton or Anders Lindegaard pressed into action. The 34-year-old Dane Lindegaard signed for Burnley last summer but did not make a single appearance last year with Pope covering the distance and the other two splitting time with as backup.
The loss of Pope between the sticks is huge for the Clarets. Pope statistically was one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League last season, and his play earned him a spot on the England squad with incumbent starter Joe Hart giving way after years of service leaving a void that required filling. While Jordan Pickford earned the starting job and impressed at the World Cup with England reaching the semifinals, Pope’s inclusion in the squad was considered a significant feat of his own.
Burnley’s season has started extra early with Europa League qualifying, entered into the second qualifying round of the competition based on their 7th place finish in last year’s Premier League table. They drew 1-1 with Aberdeen on Thursday, with the second leg of the matchup to take place this coming Thursday.