Former Magpies full-back Jose Enrique has hailed Newcastle United shot stopper Nick Pope as "fantastic".
Arriving from Burnley last summer for around £10m after the Clarets were relegated from the Premier League, Pope has been one of the signings of the season.
The 30-year-old England international has been a revelation between the sticks for Newcastle this term and even managed to pick up his second Premier League Save of the Month award recently for his stunning stop against Crystal Palace to deny Jean Philippe-Mateta.
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So far this season, Pope and Newcastle have conceded just 11 goals in the top flight, which is the fewest in the division. And through 20 league games, the Magpies shot stopper has collected 12 clean sheets.
While Pope is not solely responsible for Newcastle's impressive defensive record, he has played a major part in it. Eddie Howe's side have been blessed this term by being able to select a regular backline of Pope, Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman and Dan Burn, which has laid the foundations for their impressive campaign so far.
And while Enrique believes Trippier and midfielder Sean Longstaff have earned plaudits for their performances this term, the Spaniard also reckons Nick Pope deserves "a special mention."
"Trippier is probably the stand out player because he goes forward as well and he’s very experienced - a leader," Enrique told BestGamblingSites.
"But it’s how they defend as a team. You can’t give all the credit to the defenders. Nick Pope does deserve a special mention. He’s been fantastic for them, every time they’ve needed him he’s been there and the clean sheets speak for themselves."
"People will think it’s just the defence but Newcastle defend and attack as a team and that makes the difference. For example when Trippier goes forward, the midfield covers him. I would not give credit just to the defence, it’s the whole team working together."
"Although Longstaff may not be one of the best midfielders in the league, he will always give his best. So it’s very difficult to bring someone in to take his place. He’s a player where you know what you are going to get, even though yesterday he got those two goals which was a bit of a surprise. But he will give his all and you love to see that - even more so from academy players."
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