The Newcastle fans in the Transfer Tavern are growing increasingly concerned by the mini goalkeeper crisis which is emerging at St James’ Park, but there is reason to suggest that a solution will be found in the summer.
Rafa Benitez has had plenty of problems this season whilst trying to find a winning formula in the top-flight, and one of the major issues relates to the standard of his goalkeeping options. The likes of Karl Darlow and Rob Elliot struggled to take their opportunities to impress in Newcastle’s first-team during the first half of the season, but their mid-season recruit Martin Dubravka has taken full advantage of his chance to impress so far.
Dubravka joined the club from Sparta Prague on January deadline day in a short-term loan deal, and on the basis of his performances so far, the Toon Army propping up our bar are hoping that the temporary move will become permanent in the summer.
However, a deal for Dubravka may not be possible for various reasons in the summer, and if that proves to be the case then Benitez will need to identify a different goalkeeper to bring to Tyneside in the summer. Both Darlow and Elliot are slightly below the level that is required for the club to steer clear of a relegation scrap next season, but Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet (valued at £10.8 million by Transfermarkt) could be the man to install solidity into Newcastle’s defensive unit.
The former Mackem has been frozen out of Klopp’s first-team plans this season due to the form of Lorius Karius, and considering Liverpool are likely to sign a new first-choice goalkeeper this summer, Mignolet is surely set to become surplus to requirements at Anfield. Mignolet has divided opinion throughout his career at Liverpool, but the consensus is that he is not a good enough goalkeeper for a club with aspirations of lifting the title.
Although that may ring true at this point in time, Mignolet has demonstrated his brilliant goalkeeping abilities throughout his career in the top-flight with both Sunderland and Liverpool, so his recent form could be explained by a crisis of confidence as a result of the criticism he receives from Liverpool supporters.
A transfer to The Magpies could be exactly what he needs to rediscover his best form once again at a club which should be able to guarantee him first-team football within a lower pressure environment. The situation is fairly straightforward; Newcastle need a quality goalkeeper to be their number one, and Mignolet will be available for a transfer this summer, so Benitez must do everything he can to solve his goalkeeping crisis by bringing the Belgian international to the North-East.
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