According to a report from Football Insider, Newcastle United are facing a ‘major financial hit‘ due to their stubbornness in refusing to offload fringe keeper Karl Darlow, having rejected enquiries from Leeds United over the shot-stopper’s availability for either a loan or permanent move.
Darlow, who was a ‘colossus‘ for the Magpies during Rafael Benitez’ promotion-winning season in the Championship back in 2016/17, has since gone on to find game-time difficult to muster, with keeper Martin Dubravka well ahead of him in the pecking order.
The 29-year-old, who signed for Newcastle alongside defender Jamaal Lascelles from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2014 for an undisclosed fee, has only played 360 minutes this season compared to Dubravka’s 2,340 – as per fctables. In that time, Darlow has gone longer without conceding a goal on average, with the Englishman beaten once per 90 minutes compared to Dubravka conceding every 63 minutes.
However, the pair differ greatly in terms of pass accuracy, with Darlow completing just 18% of his passes while Dubravka has mustered a vastly superior 50% whenever he has played. This perhaps puts the Slovakian ahead of him in manager Steve Bruce’s estimations but that hasn’t motivated the club to sell the substitute keeper for profit. According to Football Insider, Newcastle intend to keep Darlow as sturdy backup in order to potentially motivate Dubravka, refusing interest from Championship promotion chasers Leeds United last summer and in the recent January window.
Leeds were reportedly willing to pay £4m for his signature last year, but after their refusal to let the player go, Newcastle face losing him in the summer on a free and making no profit off his departure.
You could argue that his crucial role during their promotion-winning campaign was value enough itself, with a potential £4m being a mere drop in the ocean when taking into account today’s financial footballing environment. Whether or not this will result in a ‘major financial hit‘ could be slightly overblown, but it could have been beneficial for all parties involved if the Magpies had let him leave sooner.
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