Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. The 33-year-old Slovakian has joined the Old Trafford club on loan for the 2022/23 season for a £2 million loan fee. There is an obligation to buy for £6 million after a certain number of appearances.
Dubravka made 130 appearances for Newcastle, conceding 175 goals and keeping 37 clean sheets in his time at the club. His number one position at the club was removed following the signing of Nick Pope from Burnley earlier this summer although the player was happy as number two.
United manager Erik ten Hag wanted a third goalkeeper at the club this summer to add some competition to David De Gea with Tom Heaton not likely to do that. Dubravka has some goos statistics as a goalkeeper, having different attributes to the Spaniard.
It is expected that Dubravka will initially play in the UEFA Europa League and/or the Carabao Cup this season, then more will be seen as to whether he can challenge De Gea for the number one position. The 33-year-old spoke about signing for United to the official Manchester United website, saying:
“To be joining Manchester United is a special moment in my career and I can’t wait to get started, and help the group achieve its ambitions.
“I am joining an excellent group of goalkeepers with lots of experience in the Premier League, and I know that we will push and support each other to keep our standards at the highest levels. The chance to work with David De Gea, alongside Tom Heaton, is one that I am relishing.
“I’d like to sincerely thank everyone at Newcastle United, and especially the fans, for many great experiences over the past four and a half years. I enjoyed every minute of my time there and made amazing memories to look back on. My focus is now on helping Manchester United, and we’ll see what the future holds after I have given my all this season. I am excited to be here!”
Dubravka has made a total of 383 appearances in professional football, conceding 449 goals and keeping 126 clean sheets. United’s defence could offer more shelter for him as a goalkeeper, which could raise his game at United. Ten Hag’s signings have shown ability so far this season.
John Murtough, United’s football director stated that Dubravka has proven himself to be a top Premier League goalkeeper with experience and personality, also stating that he will be a good addition to United’s squad. Murtough said:
“Martin has proven himself to be a top Premier League goalkeeper and his experience and personality will be a great addition to our strong goalkeeping group, alongside David, Tom, and our younger keepers. Together, they will create a high-performance environment, with each of them ready to step up and play when called upon.”
Dubravka will be seeking to contest De Gea’s place in the team this season, initially becoming the number two goalkeeper at the club. It may suggest that Tom Heaton cold become more of a coach like Lee Grant last season. If it works out well, it could be good for United.
Written by John Walker