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Paul Merson delivers verdict on Burnley star’s £40m valuation



Former Arsenal forward Paul Merson has admitted he would pay £40m to lure Burnley shot-stopper Nick Pope away from Turf Moor this summer, delivering his verdict on Sky Sports.

That is the amount of money it will take for Pope to leave Lancashire according to a report from The Sun, who believe Fulham are interested in bringing the England international to Craven Cottage when the upcoming transfer window opens.

With the Cottagers securing their promotion back to the Premier League in the latter stages of the 2021/22 campaign, manager Marco Silva is likely to have a considerable amount of funds at his disposal in the coming months.

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Centre-back, Premier League winner, English

However, it’s currently unclear whether they are prepared to spend as much as £40m to bring the 30-year-old to west London, even with a goalkeeper seemingly at the top of their transfer priority list with Thomas Strakosha and Dean Henderson also being linked with a move.

Pope’s stance on a move is also unclear at this stage and whilst he remains in Gareth Southgate’s plans, it’s currently unclear whether he will remain in the Three Lions’ squad through this calendar year with the World Cup coming up later in 2022.

That could potentially persuade him to depart Turf Moor following a five-year stay – and pundit Merson has encouraged the likes of the Cottagers, Newcastle United and other interested sides to splash out the amount needed to recruit him.

He said (via Chronicle Live): “I’d pay it [£40 million for Pope], I think he’s that good.

“I think he’s very underrated. I think he’s a top goalkeeper. In this day and age, everybody has to have a good goalkeeper.

“Newcastle [could be an option]. I know Newcastle’s goalkeeper [Martin Dubravka] has done great since he’s been back in.

“But I don’t think there is a problem paying £40million for a goalkeeper, nowadays.”

The Verdict:

Having a reliable goalkeeper could be priceless for a team like the Cottagers who will be desperate to remain afloat in the division but may need a top-quality shot-stopper who can be trusted.

Ensuring they have a keeper behind them that can minimise errors will help to breed confidence in the defence and this is why the £40m price tag may be justified because the England international deserves to be playing in the top flight next term.

In terms of Pope, he will be wary that Manchester United’s Henderson and West Bromwich Albion’s Sam Johnstone may be playing top-tier football regularly next season, putting his place in the England squad in real danger.

Considering Johnstone was Southgate’s second-choice option between the sticks at one point last year, Pope will be terrified at the prospect of missing another major tournament for his nation, so a move back to the top flight is probably a must for him.

His kicking may be a bit of an issue at times – but he’s certainly a player both Fulham and Newcastle should be tracking over the next few weeks and/or months ahead of a potential approach over the summer.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Paul Merson delivers verdict on Burnley star’s £40m valuation

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