Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle warned by expert that major summer target wouldn’t displace current starter

Martin Dubravka making a catch for Newcastle United

Kepa Arrizabalaga would not be a worthy goalkeeper signing for Newcastle United, according to one pundit who believes he is no better than Martin Dubravka.

In the upcoming summer transfer window, Newcastle are not expecting to spend as much as they did in January. But one area they could look to strengthen is in goal. They are reportedly working through a shortlist of targets, which includes Kepa.

The Spain international became the most expensive goalkeeper in history when Chelsea signed him from Athletic Bilbao in 2018. However, he has struggled for consistency and since 2020 has been a backup behind Edouard Mendy.

It means Kepa could be considering his future, since he should be in his prime years at the age of 27. There have been a range of transfer links in recent months.

Newcastle would be one option, allowing him to continue in the Premier League. But according to former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson, Kepa would not even represent an upgrade on the Magpies’ current number one, Dubravka.

Robinson told Football Insider: “If you are going to spend big money on a new number one goalkeeper, you have to get considerably better than what you already have.

“I don’t think Kepa is better than Dubravka. I like Dubravka. He is strong, commanding and makes big saves. I believe he is a top-class goalkeeper.

“If you have Kepa and Dubravka, for me, Dubravka plays.

Kepa Arrizabalaga is set to leave Chelsea with replacement already lined up

Kepa Arrizabalaga is set to leave Chelsea with replacement already lined up

Sam Johnstone is being touted to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga this summer as Chelsea look for £50m for the Spain Goalkeeper

“If Newcastle want to strengthen in the goalkeeping department, they should look elsewhere I think.

“Most clubs like to carry two number-one-calibre goalkeepers now, so I understand their thinking. But I don’t think Kepa should replace Dubravka.”

Kepa compared to Dubravka

Kepa Arrizabalaga arriving for a Chelsea match

Kepa has kept 47 clean sheets in 124 appearances across his Chelsea career. In contrast, for Newcastle, Dubravka has prevented being breached 33 times out of 121 games.

Considering Chelsea have always been in a stronger position than Newcastle in that time, it is a fair reflection on Dubravka’s ability in comparison to Kepa.

But at the age of 33, Newcastle could be trying to find a successor to Dubravka. Kepa has plenty of experience, but his ability remains up for question.

Other names on Newcastle’s radar in goal include Manchester United’s Dean Henderson, Arsenal’s Bernd Leno and West Brom’s Sam Johnstone.

Henderson and Leno are also both backup goalkeepers at their respective clubs. Johnstone, meanwhile, sees his contract with his Championship employers expire in the summer.

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