Why Newcastle United fans could expect to see another England goalkeeper replace Nick Pope in goal this month

Martyn Margetson, England goalkeeping coach, Sam Johnstone, Dean Henderson and Nick Pope of England walk out prior to the England Training Session ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier against Albania at Pennyhill Park on March 27, 2021 in Bagshot, England
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nick Pope’s dislocated shoulder, four minutes from the end of Newcastle United’s win vs Manchester United, was a catalyst for Eddie Howe’s season imploding. Pope was replaced by Martin Dubravka, a Slovakian international and one of the rare success stories to emerge from Mike Ashley’s reign of austerity on Tyneside.

Identified by Rafa Benitez during the 2018 January transfer window, Dubravka arrived quietly on deadline day as a largely unknown quantity, signing on loan for €500k with an option to buy for an extra €4.5m.

His impact was almost immediate. He started his first game 11 days after arriving, a big game live on TV at home to Manchester United. Newcastle hadn’t won a home game since October, but they beat Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United 1-0 that day and Dubravka was man of the match.

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Matthew Ketchell
Deputy Editor

Ketch joined FourFourTwo as Deputy Editor in 2022 having racked up appearances at Reach PLC as a Northern Football Editor and BBC Match of the Day magazine as their Digital Editor and Senior Writer. During that time he has interviewed the likes of Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Gareth Southgate and attended World Cup and Champions League finals. He co-hosts a '90s football podcast called ‘Searching For Shineys’, is a Newcastle United season ticket holder and has an expensive passion for collecting classic football shirts.