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What on earth will Sean Dyche do with all of his goalkeeping options at Burnley?

With three England international goalkeepers in his ranks, the Clarets boss has some serious decisions to make once they're all fit

We’ve all done this on Football Manager before, haven’t we?

You suffer some kind of goalkeeping crisis on the game and you end up signing three genuine No.1 contenders for your team.

It’s madness really, as you have to pay the wages for three decent keepers, all the while forcing one to watch from the bench and another to stare forlornly from the stands.

Luckily, it’s just a game and doesn’t have any real-life consequences, does it?

*cough* eating worms *cough*

5
*cough* eating worms *cough*

Well, it seems Sean Dyche has made this tricky situation a reality, as he has three bona fide England goalkeepers in his team right now.

It’s not his fault, really.

After all, it all started a few seasons ago when Tom Heaton’s fine performances for Burnley – including that save against Zlatan Ibrahimovic a couple of years ago – made him England’s nailed-on third-choice goalie.

But of course, he got injured very early-on last season – hurting his shoulder in their win over Crystal Palace – meaning previously unheard of Nick Pope was forced to step into his place between the sticks .

Ouch

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Ouch

Amazingly, Pope did so well in his absence that he earned a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup over the summer, picked behind Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland.

But that all came crashing down a month ago in a Europa League qualifier at Aberdeen when he clashed with team-mate James Tarkowski, injuring his shoulder.

With Heaton ruled out with a calf injury at the time, Dyche was forced to call upon Anders Lindegaard before later signing Man City’s unwanted man Joe Hart – who once upon time was England’s undisputed No.1.

Remember that?

Season-ending

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Season-ending

All joking aside, Hart’s actually done rather well for Burnley so far after two difficult years out of City’s team.

In fact, even when Heaton and Pope do return to full fitness – whenever that will be – he might end up keeping his place in the starting line-up.

Hart’s redemption

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Hart’s redemption

It’s crazy though, when you think about it.

Heaton is definitely one of the best keepers in the Premier League at the moment, but has spent such a long time out of the side.

Pope, too, was arguably the best goalkeeper in the top-flight last season (and was a bit of a Dream Team fantasy football favourite, to boot) and would probably be playing for them right now if he wasn’t injured.

And then of course there’s Hart, who’s out to redeem his stuttering career.

Waiting in the wings

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Waiting in the wings

It seems Heaton is close to making a return to the fold and recently warned Hart he’s eyeing his starting spot.

He said: “That’s the aim.

“We’ve got a great goalkeeping department at the moment with a lot of competition. But I can’t hide away from the fact that my aim is to get back playing in the Premier League. I want to get going that way.”

It could happened, of course, as Hart is no stranger to making keeper clangers in recent years. Just watch back some of the clips from his recent outings for Torino and West Ham.

So, we ask you this; hypothetically, if you were Dyche and had all three goalkeepers fit and ready to play, who would you pick?

Personally, I’d pick Lindegaard; he once kept David De Gea out of Man United’s line-up, after all.


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