The goalkeeper position has been on Benitez’s mind for most of the season. Martin Dubravka was signed on a loan deal this past January Transfer Window and made an instant impact for the Toon. As you all remember, Dubravka’s debut was a magical one, stopping every Manchester United shot on the way to a massive 1-0 victory.
Since then, Dubravka has been reliable, confident, and commanding as the last line of defense for the Magpies. In his four games played this season, Newcastle has secured 7 points in a possible 12, while only giving up a total of 4 goals. Although it is a very small sample size, the Slovakian international has certainly been impressive. But will he be around after his loan spell is over?
Martin Dubravka gave some insight on his future with the club while speaking with Sport Pravda and gave some very interesting quotes. Dubravka would go on to say, “Everything depends mainly on how the team finishes in the top flight or whether we stay in it” in regards to an extended stay with Newcastle.
But his future is not the only thing the 29-year-old is thinking about. “I will continue to focus on getting as many points as possible and thus avoiding relegation. I think Newcastle will be in the Premier League, and then a permanent transfer will be possible.” One step at a time for the keeper. This may be a routine answer for any player, but it still is reassuring that Dubravka seems to be taking it game by game before he starts thinking about his future with the club.
The goalkeeping position will definitely be different this upcoming summer with Dubravka’s loan spell coming to a close. In addition to that, Matz Sels’ loan will end this summer and he will return to the club. Sels’ future with the club will be interesting as he was one of the first signings by Benitez and it certainly did not go as Rafa had expected. Freddie Woodman’s loan will end this summer as well but perhaps another season where he will get starting minutes will benefit the 21-year-old. And on top of all of this, Iker Casillas has been repeatedly linked to the Toon as his time with FC Porto may be at its end. Benitez will certainly have a lot to think about when it comes to the last line of defense.
Although it has been a very small sample size, Dubravka seems like a very cheap option for a consistent goalkeeper in the seasons to come. But as the Slovakian goalkeeper said earlier, one game at a time!