There are reports in the news that Rafa Benitez is set to make Martin Dubravka his first Summer signing at Newcastle United. There is a handy clause in his loan contract that allows them to snap him up for a mere £4million, which seems like a bargain for the Slovakian keeper.
It is a no-brainer for Newcastle. Rafa Benitez made it no secret last summer that he was in the market for a new shot-stopper, someone who could come in and command the defence and be a vocal presence.
It was very surprising for him when he didn’t get his way in 2017 but Dubravka came in January and there has been no looking back.
He kept an impressive 4 clean sheets in the 12 games he played at the club and had the same record as Hugo Lloris when it came to the number of saves he made per goal conceded, making 2.18 saves before each goal.
He had a busy few months but transformed the Newcastle defence and made some important shut-outs at vital moments, with the best being his performance against Manchester United when he first came into the club.
With Newcastle set to offload Belgian keeper Matz Sels and the future of Karl Darlow also up in the air, it is a no-brainer to spend £4m that is required to bring Dubravka in. He exactly seems to be the sort of goalkeeper that Benitez builds his teams around – vocal, a strong shot-stopper, and also confident with the ball at his feet.
It seems like the only reason why Dubravka has not been made permanent yet is because of Rafa Benitez’s future. Now that it seems to be settled that Rafa will be at the club for the next 12 months at least, the deal seems set to be wrapped up.
There are other reports in the media that Benitez won’t stop there either when it comes to stabilising his goalkeeper department and it seems Alphonse Areola is also being talked about behind closed doors, with the Paris Saint-Germain keeper interesting Benitez after being told he is surplus to requirements by new boss Thomas Tuchel.
It could be a big summer for Newcastle’s goalkeeper department!