Martin Dubravka to Manchester United: HERE WE GO!

Viraj Nerurkar
By Viraj Nerurkar
6 Min Read

Manchester United are on the verge of signing another player this summer as Erik ten Hag’s revolution at Old Trafford continues. The Red Devils are very close to announcing the signing of goalkeeper Martin Dubravka on loan from Newcastle United for the 2022-23 season.

The English giants have already signed four players this season, with Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro all signed this summer. Furthermore, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, the club have also completed the signing of Brazilian forward Antony from Ajax for a record fee and the player is set to be announced today with the medical passed and contracts signed. Antony, along with Dubravka will take the tally of new arrivals at Old Trafford to six for the summer, as Erik ten Hag continues to bring in the players he needs to take United back to the top.

The ever-reliable Fabrizio Romano broke the news on Monday night that United are indeed close to signing the Slovakian keeper, and then confirmed to his legion of followers that the Red Devils have completed the deal, with the 33-year-old set to sign for a one-year loan with no obligation to buy. A medical for Dubravka has been scheduled, and he is expected to be unveiled soon, with ten Hag hoping that the player can be available for the game against Arsenal on Sunday.

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David de Gea, the current United no.1, has retained his spot between the posts for more than a decade now after first signing in 2011. Dean Henderson briefly gave him a run for his money in the 20/21 season, but the Englishman left on loan to Nottingham Forest this summer, meaning that de Gea had no real competition in the squad. The Spaniard has been responsible for a lot of high-profile mistakes in recent years, with his latest coming in the 4-0 defeat against Brentford in August, when he was culpable for 3 of 4 goals conceded.

The Spanish keeper has been criticized for not coming off his line to make clearances or claim crosses enough, something that is essential to ten Hag’s style of play. De Gea is not comfortable with the ball at his feet, and he more often than not fails to find a teammate with his long balls. In Martin Dubravka, ten Hag has got a keeper who excels at coming off his line, but at the same time can pull off brilliant saves with razor-sharp reflexes. The Slovakian’s long balls are especially accurate, and he is decent with the ball at his feet too, keeping his calm and not panicking when pressed.

Dubravka first came to the Premier League in January of 2018, when he made a deadline day loan move from Sparta Prague to Newcastle United for the remainder of the 17/18 season. He went on to make 12 appearances in the league that season, keeping 4 cleansheets and conceding only 11 goals.

The Slovakian impressed when given the chance, pulling off some brilliant saves and keeping Newcastle out of relegation. The Magpies and then manager Rafa Benitez pushed for the keeper, signing him on a permanent basis in the 2018 summer transfer window, and Dubravka was made the new number 1 for Newcastle United. He started every game in the Premier League the following season, keeping 11 cleansheets and again impressing fans and followers of the league in general.

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His career at Newcastle so far has been good, retaining the number 1 spot for 5 seasons, making 130 appearances for the Magpies and keeping 37 cleansheets standing behind what was considered one of the weakest defences in the top flight of English football. The Slovakian has cemented his spot as one of the fan favorites at St. James’ Park, and he will undoubtedly be missed there.

The takeover by the new owners has seen significant funds invested into the squad, and manager Eddie Howe has used the new found wealth to sign former Burnley keeper Nick Pope as his new number 1. The arrival of Pope has seen Dubravka relegated to the bench, and a loan move to one of the biggest clubs in the world is welcomed by the player. A move to Manchester United is thought to be a dream move for him, and Martin Dubravka asked the Newcastle board to sanction the move for him.

The final details of the move are set to be completed soon, with a medical scheduled for Dubravka today. A buy option of £5 million has been included by Newcastle United, but it is not a mandatory option according to Fabrizio Romano. United fans will no doubt be excited for the addition of a new goalkeeper, with the new signing capable of providing depth and competition to de Gea in the squad.

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