Transfer insider Fabrizio Romano has provided an update on Martin Dubravka’s loan at Manchester United ending, and the next steps for the Red Devils.
At the time of signing, bringing in Dubravka on loan did not seem too bad an idea. With Dean Henderson heading out on loan, no signings would have meant David de Gea and Tom Heaton were United’s only goalkeepers.
Having a quality option like Dubravka, who had been a good asset for Newcastle United, as back-up looked a great move.
What’s more, it’s obvious that De Gea is the starting goalkeeper for the Red Devils. The Spaniard has racked up more than 500 appearances for the Old Trafford outfit, and has performed in that role for years.
With that being said, that Dubravka only made two appearances was not too surprising. Both of those came in League Cup fixtures, a competition in which it is customary for big teams to rotate their players.
However, the confirmed decision to cut his loan short is one that could well raise eyebrows.
It seems pointless for all parties to have sanctioned the deal, only for it to end at the half-way point in the season.
This now leaves United in the same position as before – with only two goalkeepers. An injury to either of those men, De Gea in particular, could prove catastrophic.
Dubravka may not be replaced
In Dubravka, it appeared United had a quality option to call upon if their starter was ever unavailable. While Heaton has previously been a top keeper, he has played just one first-team game in the last two seasons – a 22-minute outing in last season’s Champions League group stages.
As such, whether or not United would be able to rely on him to perform is a question that they might prefer not to have an answer to.
Transfer insider Romano has explained the decision for Dubravka to be recalled, as well as United’s thoughts on replacing him.
“Newcastle have decided to recall Dubravka as he was almost never playing at Manchester United. Eddie Howe approved the decision,” he told Caught Offside.
“Man United will now think about goalkeeper situation, no decision made yet – for sure it’s not the priority now with striker situation still to be sorted.”
It seems there is a possibility that United won’t dip back into the market for a goalkeeper. In an emergency situation, that could be a decision that comes back to haunt them.
Whether or not that is the case remains to be seen. The outcome of the decision will likely be more clear later on in the January window.
Striker signing takes precedence
It makes sense for United to prioritise the signing of a striker. At the moment, they have just two senior strikers available to them – Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
Adding another option to that list would obviously add depth. Depending on the quality of the addition, it might well also add some valuable goal threat.
However, it is not as if they couldn’t sign a striker and a goalkeeper. United are one of the biggest clubs in the world, with a lot of money to spend.
They could clearly add to both positions if they wanted to, and they probably should do so.