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Faltering £38k/wk player must play out skin to salvage future Newcastle starting place - Verdict

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OPINION

If you thought that Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka was the club’s undisputed number one, then you may have to think again.

The 30-year-old has been virtually untouchable in between the sticks so far this season, so even entertaining the prospect of him being dropped would have been laughed at.

However, if you contemplate that his errors have led to the Magpies dropping a significant number of points in the last few games, then you may be forced to reconsider.

Dubravka’s error led to Heung-min Son slotting home the winner in the 1-0 loss to Tottenham a couple of weeks back, while another error on Monday gifted Wolves the chance to equalise through Willy Boly.

Manager Rafa Benitez only has so much patience at the moment, as the points Dubravka has caused Newcastle to drop will no doubt prove costly in their fight for survival this season – and he will not hestitate to axe him from the starting XI if he does not start to improve quickly.

Some fans may argue that Dubravka had an overall good game against Wolves, but that counts for nothing when such avoidable mistakes are being made.

The £38,000-a-week [Spotrac] player must now play out of his skin to prove to Benitez that he is his first choice keeper, and that he is capable of playing to the highest standard in the relegation battle – after all, the last thing Newcastle need at the moment is a dodgy shot-stopper.

The faltering goalkeeper now needs to knuckle down and perform to the best of his ability from now on, as Benitez has perfectly good players – such as Freddie Woodman – who can step in if it was really necessary, and that is something that he will not be afraid to do.

It is over to you now, Dubravka.


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