Martin Dubravka played just twice for Man Utd (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)
Newcastle have recalled goalkeeper Martin Dubravka just four months into his loan spell at Manchester United.
Dubravka moved to Old Trafford on deadline day to act as back-up David de Gea, having lost his No.1 status at St. James’ Park to Nick Pope.
The 33-year-old played just twice for Erik ten Hag’s side, specifically in the Carabao Cup wins against Aston Villa and Burnley, keeping a clean sheet in the latter.
But he has now returned to his parent club, with a statement from United reading: ‘We would like to thank Martin for his contribution during his time with our club, and wish him all the best for the future.’
His recall is perhaps not too big a surprise given that it was reported in December that United were not going to sign the keeper permanently, while Newcastle are keen on selling him for good and may well look for fresh offers in January.
Dubravka joined the Magpies from Sparta Prague in 2018 and became a fan-favourite, keeping 37 clean sheets in 130 appearances, impressive for a side that until very recently was always battling relegation.
The Slovakian international won the Newcastle Player of the Year award in 2020, but suffered with injuries and mixed form last season, prompting Eddie Howe to move for Pope, a transfer that has so far worked out very well.
36-year-old Tom Heaton is now Man Utd’s No.2 keeper (Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images)
The England international has kept nine clean sheets so far this campaign, the most of any Premier League keeper, to help Howe’s side to third in the table.
As for United, Ten Hag was already on the lookout for a new goalkeeper, with De Gea’s contract up in the summer, but that search will now become more urgent with veteran Tom Heaton and youngster Nathan Bishop the only back-up options.
The Red Devils have been linked with a number of keepers including Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Porto’s Diogo Costa.
Both sides are back in action on Tuesday evening, as United host struggling Bournemouth while Newcastle travel to league leaders Arsenal.
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36-year-old Tom Heaton is now United’s No.2 keeper.