Last season’s disastrous on-pitch performances from the Manchester United players necessitated a drastic change and it came in the form of new manager Erik ten Hag.
The Dutchman’s has brought about quite a few discernable changes including developing a clear pattern of play and focussing on instilling discipline throughout the group which has resulted in a much more harmonious squad.
His talent identification also paid off in the transfer market as United brought in five players on permanent deals and one on loan which has helped plug quite a few holes in the squad, while adding quality throughout the first team.
The loan signing was a curious one as Newcastle United’s Martin Dubravka joined as back-up keeper after the departure of Dean Henderson on loan.
United’s search for a keeper
The move was seen as a ploy by the Dutch boss to put more pressure on current incumbent David de Gea. The Spaniard’s shot-stopping ability was never in doubt but Ten Hag’s demands from a goalkeeper are slightly different.
He prefers his keeper to be proficient with the ball at his feet and have the ability to come out from the line and smother attacks when required.
However, these two modern traits are lacking in the Spaniard’s armoury and that is why the former Ajax boss has insisted on searching for a new long-term No 1.
Manchester United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka won’t extend his loan spell beyond this season.
Dubravka signed for Manchester United during the summer transfer window to play second fiddle to David De Gea. The Newcastle loanee is yet to feature in the Premier League. #MUFC pic.twitter.com/oY2VNaJxjB
— The Transfer Exchange Show (@TheTransferEx) December 8, 2022
The likes of Jan Oblak, Odysseas Vlachodimos and Yann Sommer have been mentioned as possible targets with the Reds still dithering over triggering the one-year extension clause in De Gea’s contract.
If Dubravka could have impressed during his loan stint, there was a chance that he could stay on as the No 2 in future campaigns irrespective of who the club brought in.
Rob Dawson of the ESPN have now reported that, “Dubravka is expected to return to Newcastle at the end of the campaign having made just one first team appearance at Old Trafford.”
Dubravka has not fit the bill
The report mentions that the 20-time English champions are not looking at a permanent deal nor do they have any interest in extending their initial agreement.
Sommer seems to be the preferred option at the moment according to ESPN.
It has not been the kind of stint that Dubravka would have wanted. He conceded twice on his United debut against Aston Villa in the EFL Cup. The Slovakian has also failed to dislodge De Gea despite his obvious shortcomings.
Last night, the 33-year-old conceded four times against La Liga relegation candidates Cadiz in yet another disappointing outing for the reserve keeper.
Dubravka initially left the Magpies after they signed Nick Pope and it seems like a permanent transfer away from Tyneside could be his best chance at becoming a No 1 in some other club.
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