Wolves v Man Utd: Pictures
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Manchester United have lost second-choice goalkeeper Martin Dubravka after Newcastle decided to recall the shot-stopper. It leaves boss Erik ten Hag with a fresh dilemma at the start of the January transfer window, with the Red Devils lacking back-up options for David de Gea.
Dubravka was signed on a season-long loan from the Magpies in August. Ten Hag wanted depth in the goalkeeper department after Dean Henderson was allowed to join Nottingham Forest in a temporary deal.
The 33-year-old made just two appearances, with both coming in the League Cup. But he leaves a gaping hole in quality in goal.
A club statement read: “Martin Dubravka has been recalled from his season-long loan to Manchester United by his parent club Newcastle United. The Slovakian goalkeeper has made two appearances for the Reds since arriving from Tyneside in the summer, both in the Carabao Cup.”
It added: “We would like to thank Martin for his contribution during his time with our club, and wish him all the best for the future.”
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Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag has a dilemma after losing Martin Dubravka (Image: GETTY IMAGES)
According to the Daily Mail, United have not decided whether to sign a new goalkeeper in January. They were set to place all their efforts into signing an attacker to replace the axed Cristiano Ronaldo.
Veteran former Burnley man Tom Heaton is now next in line after first-choice De Gea. The 23-year-old Nathan Bishop is also available should Ten Hag prefer to call upon the younger option.
United had signed Dubravka expecting him to see out the 2022-23 campaign at Old Trafford. He had lost his place at Newcastle to summer arrival Nick Pope.
Magpies boss Eddie Howe had hinted that Dubravka might be asked to return to St. James’ Park a couple of months ago. “I think he is an outstanding goalkeeper. I really do and I will have a chat with Martin as time progresses,” Howe said in October.
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Newcastle have recalled Martin Dubravka from his Man Utd loan (Image: GETTY IMAGES)
“I won’t speak now as he is in the middle of a busy period as we are. There will be a time when I will sit down with him and have a chat and see what he wants to do next. It’s difficult for me to comment. I don’t know what goes on at any other football club.
“All I will say is I love Martin as a lad, he did brilliantly for us last year. And he is an outstanding goalkeeper and I will have a chat with him at the right time. Of course yeah the door is still open. A lot depends on what Martin wants. We will take it from there.”
Dubravka returns to Newcastle with Howe’s side sitting third in the Premier League after a surprisingly strong start to the campaign.