It had been reported that Dubravka is facing an extended injury lay-off with his return to action from a heel injury pushed back until at least December, due to the issue not healing correctly after surgery, per The Times.
In Dubravka’s absence, it has been Karl Darlow who has stepped up into the number one position. The former Nottingham Forest keeper has finally been given the chance to impress after spending the last two seasons out of the side, which he is so far taking after pulling off a number of impressive saves.
Darlow has made the most amount of saves in the Premier League so far this term with 28. Against Manchester United, the keeper was forced into action on eight occasions including the save he made to deny Bruno Fernandes’ penalty. That brought his average saves per game so far this term to 5.6 (via Sofascore), which also shows just how many quality chances the Magpies are allowing.
Speaking to Football Insider, Mills suggested that not having Dubravka available will be a major blow for the Magpies over the next few months, clearly believing Darlow’s superb form cannot last.
He said: “He is a big loss for Newcastle. He was magnificent last season. Absolutely superb.
“Over the course of the last 10 years we have seen the rise of the goalkeeper. It is such an important role.
“He has made some vital saves and has been crucial to that team. Dubravka’s a fantastic shot-stopper. He has been probably their best player.
“A good goalkeeper gives the defence confidence and belief and allows them to play with freedom and confidence. That flows all of the way through a team. It is so important to have a good goalkeeper.”
Dubravka absence a major blow if Darlow form dips
Although Darlow has started well this season, there is a concern that he might not be able to sustain such outstanding performances over a whole campaign. The keeper does not have much top-flight experience and therefore he may suffer lapses in form. That would leave the Magpies in big trouble if they continue to allow as many shots on goal as they are doing.
Newcastle fans, you can read more about Dubravka’s injury here and don’t forget to comment your thoughts down below!
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