Following Martin Dubravka’s incredible debut performance for NUFC, the Mirror have revealed that it was West Ham’s Joe Hart who could’ve been between the sticks at St James’ instead, explaining how Rafa Benitez made an unsuccessful attempt to sign him on loan last month.
They claim that Benitez made a last-gasp attempt to do a deal with West Ham, offering them one of our ‘reserve goalkeepers’ (presumably Elliot) in a bid to allow the England international to become our number one for the remainder of the season.
Hart has been unconvincing for a few seasons now and has been looking to cut short his loan spell with West Ham after David Moyes has been opting for Spanish stopper Adrian instead over the past few months.
Time will tell, but after Dubravka’s outstanding debut on Sunday, I am quite relieved that we ended up with the Slovakian over Joe Hart – a good character but a goalkeeper whose done little to suggest he’d have been the answer to our problems between the posts over recent months.
Here’s what the Mirror’s Darren Lewis had to say on our attempts to sign Hart late last month, suggesting the he was a preferred option to Martin Dubrakva and keen on making the move if West Ham had of agreed to the deal with parent club Man City:
“Rafa Benitez failed with a late bid to land Joe Hart on loan last month.
“The Newcastle boss offered West Ham, where Hart is on a season’s loan from Manchester City, one of his reserve keepers in the hope that they would allow the England international to become his no.1 at St James’ Park.
“The Hammers, however, rejected the offer with manager David Moyes insistent that Hart could yet have a part to play in his plans this season.
“The 30-year-old is desperate to play regular first-team football in order to make Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad this summer but cannot even play FA Cup games as the Hammers went out in round four.
“Had West Ham agreed to the deal Newcastle were proposing, City would have been happy to sanction it.
“Benitez instead signed Martin Dubravka on loan from Sparta Prague, and the Slovakia international turned in a top-class display on Sunday as relegation candidates Newcastle pulled off a shock win over second-placed Manchester United.”
Hopefully he can keep it up, but if Dubravka’s debut is anything to go by, then it looks like Rafa ended up getting the right one in last month.
Missing out on Hart may have been a bullet dodged. Yes he’s an experienced goalkeeper, a strong character and someone whose been brilliant in the past, but he’s been going backwards in recent years and wouldn’t have been the ball playing keeper Benitez clearly wanted.