Steve Bruce has discussed the “unbelievably difficult decision” he’ll have to make now Martin Dubravka is edging closer to a return to action at Newcastle United.
The Slovakian international has been a revelation since his £4m arrival almost three years ago, and was voted player of the season by Toon supporters for his heroics last year.
However, Karl Darlow has been arguably our stand out performer this current campaign since stepping in – with there even being faint rumours of a surprise England call up.
Now Dubravka is a ‘couple of weeks away’, here’s what Bruce told BBC Radio Newcastle when asked about the goalkeeping situation at the club:
Dubravka made the most saves in the top flight last season (140) and Darlow had been leading the pack in the Premier League this time around until West Brom’s Sam Johnstone dethroned him from the top spot last weekend.
The unwanted shots tally is likely down to our system, which would be doomed if we had a poor goalkeeper between the sticks. It is a credit to Darlow how well he has played when given the chance, as many Toon fans were pretty concerned at the start of the season when Dubravka was ruled out.
He never let us down in the Championship and was probably aggrieved when Rafa Benitez brought in a goalkeeper to replace him in the first team, as he had been solid for the best part of 18 months.
It is certainly a positive dilemma for Bruce to have, with another likely to come his way next summer when Championship star Freddie Woodman returns from Swansea at the end of the season!