When Newcastle completed the loan signing of Martin Dubravka in the January transfer window this year, it was announced via every media outlet that there was a clause in the deal that could see him sign permanently.
The speculated price of a potential future transfer being around £4m seemed to indicate that he was either not that good or what could turn out to be an absolute steal if he played a blinder.
As it turns out, the completion of Dubravka to Tyneside has gone ahead and although the price is undisclosed, you can generally accept the alleged prices that get banded around in the media and with that, the signing seems a masterstroke.
Not 30 years old until next January and his best years ahead of him, his command of the box and speed of thought aside from other qualities, has seen Rafa Benitez save the club millions of pounds on what would have been the asking price of a similar keeper. Even if we put him up for sale now, his price would probably be at least treble what we allegedly paid his former club, such has been his impact here.
Speaking about the move on the official Newcastle website, Dubravka said:
I’m very proud and very pleased to be a part of the club and I’m very happy that I have my future here. When I arrived on loan in January, I already knew Newcastle United was a great club with amazing fans.
The first game helped a lot in a new team. Nobody knew who I was and then suddenly I was playing against Manchester United with my teammates.
I really appreciate the way the fans supported us, home and away. I’ve never seen anything like that before. They give us energy and that helps us to play well and give 100 per cent. I’m happy that I can be part of that relationship.
The transfer move by Newcastle has put to bed the growing worry that a move for Dubravka may not have happened after all and showed that there is at least something happening behind the scenes. With the big worry that Rafa Benitez will only see out the last year of his current contract and not sign an extension, the capture of players that he wants can only strengthen the chances of a renewal.