NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe is refusing to be drawn on whether there will be a changing of the guard in the Newcastle United goalkeepers’ union this summer.
Manchester United’s Dean Henderson is the latest name to be linked with a move to United this summer, with the likes of Nick Pope, Kasper Schmeichel, Sam Johnstone, and Thomas Strakosha also mentioned in dispatches.
Martin Dubravka has been United’s No.1 since signing on loan under Rafa Benitez in Jan. 2018. His deal from Sparta Prague was made permanent in the summer window later that year.
Only injury has kept the Slovakian out of the United first-team in those impressively consistent four years, with players such as Karl Darlow and Freddie Woodman having to wait their turn.
And while Howe is understood to be assessing his options in this department, he will not commit to any permanent changes.
“Martin’s been an excellent goalkeeper for this team for many, many years. You just have to look back to the Liverpool game where he was outstanding. He’s done very well, he’s been a big part of our recent success,” said the head coach. “In terms of talking about specific positions? That’s a big no-no. I’ll let you do that.”
While Dubravka’s immediate future at Newcastle is in little doubt, the same cannot be said of the other two senior United keepers at the club.
The Darlow situation is being watched closely by Championship side Middlesbrough, while an unsuccessful loan spell at Bournemouth has done little to further the stock of Woodman.
“Freddie went out on loan and Mark Travers, who I know very well, is an outstanding goalkeeper. Probably from having Freddie’s presence behind him his game kicked on to another level, so it was difficult for Freddie to get game time, which is a disappointment for us and him,” said Howe. “He’s an outstanding young goalkeeper. Freddie will sit down with us again and discuss what the next step is. At this moment in time, it’s difficult to say.”
Meanwhile, while an official announcement on the confirmation of Dan Ashworth’s appointment at Newcastle United is awaited, it appears as if the Premier League have jumped the gun on the news.
In a statement last week, the Magpies stated that the deal to get Ashworth on board was “subject to Premier League approval.” It was also stated that “Newcastle United will issue further information following the relevant approval process.”
However, the official Premier League website has already listed the change in its directory, with Ashworth down officially as United’s “sporting director.”
Confirmation is still awaited from Newcastle United.