With it confirmed that Martin Dubravka has been ruled out for two months, we assess who will start our new campaign between the sticks.
Steve Bruce will need to decide between our two main options; Karl Darlow and newly recruited Mark Gillespie, to fill the gloves of our Slovakian shot-stopper.
With Freddie Woodman on loan at Swansea he misses out on the potential opportunity to make a stake for the position, although it can be assumed he will be fighting for the spot further down his career in the North East.
The other possible alternative, Dan Langley is vastly inexperienced at just 19 years of age meaning he will likely continue to look towards our academy for his progression.
It has been widely reported that Dubravka was carrying an ankle injury when joining back up with the rest of the squad. After continuing to participate in the clubs training camp it seems the additional aggravation worsened the situation. Dubravka is now expected to require 2 months to recover.
It has not been communicated by the club (Shock…) whether the injury is a re-occurrence from the goalkeepers last stint on the sidelines, following our win over Southampton before the postponement of football.
With the 2 month timeline suggested, it would rule Dubravka out of 4 potential fixtures;
- Matchday 1: West Ham (A): 12/09
- Matchday 2: Brighton (H): 20/09
- Matchday 3: Tottenham (A): 26/09
- Matchday 4: Burnley (H): 03/10
Facing Manchester United on Matchday 5 after the international break, it would be fitting for Dubravka to return to action against the Red Devils, especially when you cast your mind back to his memorising debut against the team from Manchester!
It appears that Karl Darlow will be the obvious replacement for Dubravka. The Northampton born goalkeeper joined the club in 2014, and featured heavily throughout our season in the second division.
Although Darlow’s chances have been limited since the arrival of Dubravka, who subsequently played in every single Premier League match last season, this could provide him a big opportunity to impress in the top flight.
I have personally viewed Darlow as a somewhat unorthodox and unpredictable keeper. I mean this in the sense that you never quite know what level of performance you are about to get from him.
Mix in the double penalty save at Nottingham Forest, to the agonising mistake away at Norwich, and of course the horrific, yet miraculous save against Rotherham, and I have made my point clear!
Newcastle’s first official signing of the summer occurred back at the start of July when it was announced Mark Gillespie was going full circle in his career. The local lad begun his goalkeeping career in black and white, developing within the academy until he made the move away in 2008, aged 16.
He left his hometown in search of first team experience, and he certainly got that. Racking up over 180 games for Carlisle United, he then spent a year at Walsall before joining Motherwell in 2018.
While representing the Scottish club, he established himself as their first choice, helping the team to a 3rd place finish last season, before his contract expired.
Gillespie has been used on a rotational basis throughout our pre-season matches so far. He played the first 45 minutes of our 3-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra, offering some vital contributions towards our clean sheet, before then playing the second 45 in our 2-1 victory over Barnsley.
Whoever fills in between the sticks, before the inevitable return of Dubravka will have an important role to play in ensuring our 2020/21 season gets off to a good start.
Who would you select as our temporary Number 1?
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