Former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher has come out and said that Newcastle United could be in the midst of a relegation battle right now if it wasn’t for Martin Dubravka.
With the coronavirus outbreak bringing a halt to the Premier League, United are in a decent position with nine games to go when considering the positions they have finished in previous seasons and the unrest that was at the club during the summer months when Rafael Benitez left.
As it stands, Newcastle have a healthy eight-point buffer on the relegation zone, as well as four teams sandwiched between them and the red dotted line, and Sky Sports pundit Carragher thinks they have a lot to thank the Slovakian goalkeeper for.
The shot-stopper had picked up a knee injury during the club’s 1-0 win away at St. Mary’s in what was the last game before the season was suspended, which would have left a lot of fans anxious while there is still a threat of relegation, however, he has now had time to recover and would be set to return to training.
Carragher refused to get drawn into speculating where he ranks in comparison to the other goalkeepers in the Premier League, but he claimed that he has a huge relative influence on his team.
Would you pay £30m for Edouard?
Only if he was less
He said: “I think the Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is probably as big of an influence on their team as any goalkeeper.
“I’m not saying he’s the second or third best goalkeeper in the Premier League, but I think in terms of where you see Newcastle in the table, I think a lot of that is to do with the goalkeeper. He’s right up near the top of the list and he plays a big role in the fact Newcastle aren’t embroiled in a relegation fight.”
According to the Chronicle, Dubravka has been working on his rehab remotely with the club’s physios.
It is said that they have been communicating via video call to make sure that he is prepared to play once the season resumes.
It is certainly hard to argue with the Liverpool legend on this one – and there won’t be many Newcastle fans or people from within the club who will disagree with him.