Journalist Ross Gregory is of the impression that Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka could yet depart the club this summer.
The Magpies moved quickly to snap up Nick Pope in a cut-price £10m deal following Burnley’s relegation to the Championship, and his arrival has raised the question as to who will be the club’s No 1 goalkeeper this season.
Dubravka has made 130 appearances for the Magpies and was seen as the recognised first-choice last term, making 26 starts in the Premier League having missed the start of the campaign through injury. But with the Slovakian now without assurances, Gregory feels he could look for an exit.
Speaking on the NUFC Matters YouTube channel, he said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes in January. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes before the end of this window.
“I don’t know that for certain, I’ve got no inside knowledge or anything on that; I’ve not been told anything whatsoever.
“I think Nick Pope will start the season as No 1 and then Dubravka’s got a decision to make, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if he moves between now and September 1st, and certainly in January if he’s not first-choice.”
TIF Thoughts on Dubravka and Newcastle…
Should Newcastle sell Dubravka?
At 33, you would suspect the 29-cap Slovakia ace would be hoping to play regularly, and considering he finished the previous season strongly with four clean sheets in nine games, you wouldn’t begrudge him for targeting a move elsewhere.
However, when compared to Pope last season (as per FBref), his save percentage of 67.9% does fall short of the ex-Burnley man’s 73.6% and he conceded an average of 1.35 goals per 90 – slightly higher than Pope’s 1.31. Meanwhile, he also failed to command his box as frequently, stopping 8.1% of crosses into the box compared to that of the man who may well take his jersey (9.6%).
It will certainly be interesting to see whether or not Dubravka does look to force his way out – and if the Toon look for a replacement or whether they feel Karl Darlow will be an able deputy.