Newcastle United seemingly have put their relegation concerns behind them and have already begun preparing for the following season. Their first order of business in the summer window is expected to be the permanent transfer of Martin Dubravka.
The 29-year-old arrived at St. James’ Park in the January window and has been a massive hit for the Magpies. Rafael Benitez’s side is reported to have paid £1.2m as loan fee to Sparta Prague and by the looks of it, the investment has paid off.
Dubravka took charge of the Newcastle goal line and in his debut game against Manchester United showed exactly what he is capable of. The Slovakia international made a few remarkable saves, one even from the goal line to help his team to the 1-0 win.
He looked unfazed against the constant battering of the United attack and quite deservedly has cemented his spot in the starting XI.
Dubravka has appeared in the last 7 league games for the Tyneside club and has maintained 3 clean sheets. An eye-opening statistic for a player who has spent his entire career in the less illustrious leagues of Europe.
The pace of the Premier League has been known to shock newcomers and force them to go through a gruelling adjustment period. We have seen greats like David De Gea and Thibaut Courtois struggle during their first seasons.
But not Dubravka. He has taken to the league like a fish to water and has solidified the United defence ten-folds. After all, Benitez can only wait so long for Rob Elliot to get over his injury concerns and for Karl Darlow to start matching up to his standards.
Freddie Woodman might be a perfect number one for the future but right now is still too young. He is better off developing himself while away on loan spells.
Previous reports claimed that the Czech outfit has set an asking price of £4m for the goalkeeper which in total will round up to £5.2m once the business is concluded. By modern standards that might look like a steal for most teams but Newcastle United are a bit strapped for cash at the moment.
The entire winter period was frustrating for Benitez with the entire Amanda Stavely and PCP Group takeover attempt. The current owner, Mike Ashley has also shown toxic hesitance in providing financial support to the former Liverpool boss.
Whether he will agree to spend heavily in the succeeding window is yet to be seen but the Magpies fans remain hopeful. After all, they will not only see their team survive the season in England’s top-flight but also finish strongly well away from the bottom three.