NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool scores his team's second goal past Martin Dubravka of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool FC at St. James Park on May 04, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

According to Daily Mail, Aston Villa are leading the race to sign Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka ahead of Man United and Tottenham. It is believed that the Slovakian is unsettled following the departure of Rafael Benitez and the Villans are seeking to take advantage of that situation to lure him to a move to Villa Park this summer. The report claims that Dubravka is valued at around £12 million.

Dubravka’s rapid rise to prominence

A product of the MSK Zilina youth academy, Dubravka initially joined Newcastle on a short-term loan deal from Sparta Praha at the start of last year. And the 30-year-old didn’t take any time settling into life in England, playing a key role behind the Magpies’ survival during the 2017/18 campaign.

As a result of his consistent performances in goal, his loan move was made permanent by Newcastle for a fee of £3.6 million last summer. Although Dubravka’s performances weren’t as consistent as it were during the backend of the 2017/18 campaign, the Slovakian still managed to impress.

He featured in all of Newcastle’s 38 league games, conceding 48 goals, which was the best defensive record in the bottom end of the league table last season. Hence, Dubravka being a subject of interest from a host of top clubs across Europe isn’t surprising at all.

What can Dubravka bring to the table?

Dubravka is primarily known for his quick reflexes, having made 11 saves from point-blank range last season – third highest in the league. He also notched up 94 saves in total, which stands at a healthy average of 2.5 saves per game. The 30-year-old also boasts a tall frame of 1.91m, which helps him cover a large area in goal while giving him a considerable advantage when it comes to asserting dominance in set-pieces.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

Where does Dubravka fit in at Aston Villa?

Dubravka will be a smart piece of investment for Aston Villa, who have already raised a lot of eyebrows with their transfer market activity this summer. The newly promoted Premier League outfit have no less than goalkeeping options going into this new season, but none of them has any significant experience of playing in the top flight.

The Slovakian international, in that regard, could be a logical option. Although Dubravka, himself, is relatively new to the Premier League, having featured in only 50 league matches, he has been one of the ever-present goalkeepers in the past 18 months or so. And the 30-year-old has appeared consistent as well and will, therefore, be an upgrade over Aston Villa’s current crop of goalkeepers.

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