Newcastle United’s on-loan goalkeeper, Martin Dubravka put in a remarkable performance against Manchester United last weekend to see his side through the 1-0 win at St. James’ Park. The 29-year-old looked unfazed by the constant battering from the United offence and made a huge save in the dying minutes. The fans of Tyneside including Rafael Benitez was greatly impressed by Dubravka’s performance and this has sparked rumours that the Magpies will be looking to make his loan deal permanent in the summer.
Dubravka’s parent club is Sparta Prague and he is currently serving a short-term spell with the Premier League outfit. Newcastle United paid a loan fee to pry him away from Prague and it can rise to £1.2m if he plays over 6 games in the remainder of the season. Benitez certainly would not mind that and is interested in signing the Slovakian shot stopper permanently for £5.2m.
Goalkeepers are one of the most tested positions in the modern game and fitting into the pace of the English game in the initial stages are always tough. More often than not, the keepers struggle to adjust to the pressure after coming from a less intense league.
Therefore, if Dubravka has already found his feet within a span of a single game, signing him permanently would be a no-brainer, right? One game is not a big enough sample to judge a player completely. Granted he will be given further opportunities but making any hasty decision will only cost you in the long run.
United’s former first-team goalkeeper, Rob Elliot has been struggling with injuries for what seems like the entire season now and Karl Darlow was the second option to replace him. While Darlow impressed the majority of the times, he did have a few moments which were in the shades of grey. His late own goal denied Newcastle United a home win against Burnley on transfer deadline day and a match ended 1-1.
Freddie Woodman is also out on loan to Aberdeen for the rest of the season and Benitez will have to rely on Dubravka for the next few games. With Newcastle’s fixture looking tougher than ever with Arsenal, Leicester City, Manchester City and Chelsea yet to be faced, the Slovakian international will be tested to his very limits.
The Magpies are staged on the 13th spot of the points table, just a couple of points away from the bottom three. Benitez is trying to see out his team through the first season in top-flight football and the defence will play a major part in the battle for survival. If Dubravka continues to perform at such an elite level as seen last weekend, Benitez should get the keeper back for the following season.
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