Rafa Benitez has heaped praise onto Martin Dubravka following his impressive performance at Man City over the weekend, admitting that he’s a player he’d been ‘following for a while’ – being aware of his first class mentality and professionalism before he arrived.
The Slovakian was our stand out player on Saturday, dealing with everything that came his way expertly, whether that be coming for crosses, his speed off his line during a one on one or his general shot stopping.
Here’s what Rafa’s had to say about him since, revealing just how good he’s been in the dressing room – showing that he has a big influence both on and off the pitch:
“When we signed Dubravka, we knew we were signing a good keeper.”
“Not too many people knew him, but we were following him for a while and we knew he was a good keeper.”
“We also knew he had a very good mentality and was a good professional.”
“He has been very good in the dressing room, and in these type of games, his contribution is very important for us.”
“When you have teams that are attacking so much, the keeper is the one that can give confidence to the defenders and he is doing well.”
The last line is key as well – he gives confidence to the defenders. Not only is he a reliable goalkeeper in all he does, he’s a calming influence and a very good communicator; two things Karl Darlow wasn’t despite his ability to make the occasional stunning save.
At just shy of £4m, Dubravka looks to me like one of the buys of the summer.