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Dubravka’s Future: Champions League Football at Celtic?

Chris Sutton Urges Dubravka to Consider Celtic Move for Champions League Football

Chris Sutton, has offered intriguing insight into the future of Newcastle United’s goalkeeper, Martin Dubravka. Sutton believes Dubravka would benefit greatly from a move to Celtic, especially with the allure of Champions League football on the horizon.

Dubravka’s Potential Move to Celtic

Chris Sutton discussed Dubravka’s potential transfer with the Daily Record, stating:

“At 35 years old, he probably has one more big move in him. He’s played a lot of games for Newcastle in the last year but isn’t going to be first choice. There’s every chance he saw what Hart achieved at Celtic and fancies a bit of that himself. Does he sit tight and ride out his final year at Newcastle as a back up, or perhaps drop down the division in England to get a regular game? Or does he come to Celtic, play every week and be in with the chance of winning silverware, while playing in the Champions League? I know what I would be doing.”

Dubravka’s future appears uncertain at Newcastle United, with manager Eddie Howe likely to bring in a new backup to compete with Nick Pope. This shift in the squad dynamic might push Dubravka to explore new opportunities, and Celtic could provide the perfect environment for the experienced goalkeeper to thrive.

Upcoming Euros Could Influence Decision

Dubravka is set to start in Slovakia’s Euro 2024 campaign, which kicks off on Monday, 17 June, against Belgium. This will be followed by matches against Ukraine and Romania on 21 June and 26 June respectively. His performance in these games could significantly impact his options for the future. Sutton noted:

“It sounds like he’s waiting until after the Euros to make any decision, and that’s fair enough. If he has a decent tournament there could be more options. Celtic need to keep their options open too, because it’s such an important role.”

Dubravka’s Performance at Newcastle United

The 2023/24 Premier League season saw Martin Dubravka get an unexpected chance due to a shoulder injury to Nick Pope. Dubravka’s stats from the season include conceding 42 goals in 22 league starts, compared to Nick Pope’s 16 goals conceded in 15 starts. Loris Karius, who filled in for one game, conceded four goals in his start against Arsenal.

These figures likely influenced Eddie Howe’s decision to seek a higher-quality backup for Nick Pope. Dubravka has been a reliable servant for Newcastle United, but with one year left on his contract and at the age of 35, a move to Celtic could offer him regular playtime and the chance to compete in the Champions League.

Dubravka’s Response to Transfer Speculation

In a recent interview with Slovakian media on 13 June 2024, Dubravka addressed the rumours surrounding his future:

“I would not like to comment on that because I am mentally set for the national team [and the European Championships]. However… I am aware of various noises. Teammates ask me about it. Agents call me. Yes, there is some truth to that. There was something true about that (interest from Celtic) last year as well. But you see, I stayed at Newcastle United. If there is no official offer on the table, I don’t deal with it. That’s how I took it even when I was still at Sparta [Prague]. At the moment, everything is only in the noise stage.”

When asked about the speculation that James Trafford might join Newcastle United, Dubravka commented:

“It is hard for me to comment on that because I get information from the newspaper about who we [Newcastle United] are [supposedly] signing. If I’m honest, I don’t care what happens anymore. I defended my place and did my best for the club. If they decide to bring someone else, I won’t influence it anymore. This has to be put aside at the moment, I’m trying [only] to concentrate on the national team now. I let the rest out of my head.”

Martin Dubravka faces a crucial decision post-Euros, one that could shape the twilight years of his career. Celtic, with its promise of regular football and European competition, stands as a compelling option for the Slovakian shot-stopper.

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