Nick Pope: England's new number one?
 (Air Albania Stadium), in Tirana, on March 28, 2021. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)

Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope has started back-to-back England games for the first time in his career, this week.

And the question for everyone at the moment, is whether he has done enough to stake his claim for the number one jersey?

How did Pope perform?

Pope starred in the 2-0 and 5-0 wins against Albania and San Marino respectively.

Despite playing the full 90 minutes in both games, Pope was untested in these World Cup 2022 qualifiers against weaker opposition.

Even though Pope may have not been able to show his quality in his first taste of competitive action for his country, the 6ft3in tall 'keeper did manage to break a record.

Soham-born Pope is the first England goalkeeper to keep six clean sheets in his first six games for the Three Lions

A look at his rivals for the No.1 spot

Pope's main two contenders are Everton's Jordan Pickford and Manchester United's Dean Henderson.

Pickford, currently injured, is Gareth Southgate's first choice, and has been since the 2018 World Cup.

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The ex-Sunderland stopper has has a number of shaky moments for his club in the Premier League, however, has always been dependable when performing for his country.

In comparison to Pickford, ex-Charlton man Pope, has kept three more clean sheets in the league this season. However, as of March 15, The Toffees 'keeper has a much higher pass completion rate of 62% compared to Pope's 46%.

This is a key stat, as Southgate is known for liking his goalkeepers to use their feet.

Henderson, on the other hand, has never played a competitive game for England, and has only just began to put together a run of games for United.

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Enjoying the majority of his success in his young career with Sheffield United, Henderson has not played enough first-team football this season to stake his claim for the jersey.

However this could change in the future as he is expected to become The Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's number one as of next season.

Should he stay or should he go?

With interest in Pope's signature from Tottenham Hotspur, the goalkeeper may have to leave Burnley if he is to become Southgate's first choice.

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Spurs play a different style of football which may be more suited to and England goalkeeper's needs, under the current management.

Pope will start again against Poland on Wednesday, in a game in which he may be busier than his previous Three Lions caps.

But if he is to start at the European Championships and in the future when Pickford has returned, then leaving The Clarets may be what Pope has to do.

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