Sunday 23 October 2016

Burnley swoop on Charlton for Euro 2016 star Gudmundsson and hot prospect Pope

Published 19/07/2016 | 12:41

New Burnley signing Johann Berg Gudmundsson played in every game for Iceland at Euro 2016
New Burnley signing Johann Berg Gudmundsson played in every game for Iceland at Euro 2016

Burnley have made Charlton pair Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Nick Pope their first signings of the summer.

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The Clarets, back in the Premier League after a one-season absence, have agreed three-year deals with the option of another year with Iceland international midfielder Gudmundsson and goalkeeper Pope.

Gudmundsson, 25, started every game for his country in their run to the last eight at Euro 2016 earlier this summer while Pope, 24, was the Addicks' number one last season in a campaign which ended in their relegation from the Championship.

Gudmundsson, who had the joint most assists in the Championship last year, is expected to be a key figure for Sean Dyche's side in their top-flight return, while Pope is seen as a back-up to England international Tom Heaton.

Dyche had been looking for more creativity in his midfield and confirmed Gudmundsson was a player admired by all the recruitment team in east Lancashire.

"Johann, we feel, is a quality player who we saw last season playing at Charlton in a tough time and we liked the quality he showed," Dyche said.

"It helps to see a player in the European Championships with that kind of company and he did well there so it was one we all agreed would be a good acquisition for the club and we look forward to working with him going forward."

Gudmundsson spent two terms with the Addicks and played against Burnley last season in the game at The Valley which saw Dyche's men wrap up the second-tier title.

"It's fantastic to be here, it's a club that's shown a lot of interest in me and I'm really happy to come and play for Burnley," Gudmundsson said.

"It was a good season for myself, unfortunately not for Charlton, and then we had a good Euros for Iceland.

"It feels like a family club and like everyone is tight to each other. The atmosphere around the club is fantastic and playing against the team last season I saw just how good the club was - I definitely wanted to join."

Dyche was also eager to bring in another goalkeeper to provide cover for Heaton, even though Paul Robinson penned a new deal, because Matt Gilks had sealed a move to Rangers.

Speaking of Pope, Dyche added: "He's a young keeper who we think has got a lot of promise.

"He's a good keeper now but we think he can mature and get even better during his time here."

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