Without Dubravka, this could be Darlow’s most crucial stretch at Newcastle

Karl Darlow of Newcastle. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Karl Darlow of Newcastle. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images) /

If Martin Dubravka is out for a significant stretch of time, Karl Darlow would need to be at his best for Newcastle United to survive the season.

There are reports that Martin Dubravka will miss a chunk of time with a knee injury. If those prove to be true, this will be the first time since he arrived on loan that he’s not in between the pipes for Newcastle United in a Premier League match. The man likely to replace him in goal is veteran Karl Darlow. For the Magpies to secure their safety, he will need to be the best version of himself in his time at the club.

Darlow made his first appearance for Newcastle United back in the 2015-16 season. He would start nine EPL matches in that relegation-doomed season and finished with three clean sheets and 11 goals conceded. He was the primary starter the next season as NUFC won the Championship to promote back into the Premier League. In the 2017-18 Premier League season, he split time with Rob Elliot before Dubravka arrived and took over the job full-time. Since then, Darlow’s only played in cup competitions. In those matches, he’s been what he’s been most of his time with the Magpies: a goalkeeper that can make highlight-reel saves and is also prone to making big mistakes and allowing soft goals.

There are nine Premier League matches left, in addition to the FA Cup quarterfinal. While the latest odds show Newcastle’s chances of going down are slim, Darlow needs to be steady in goal to give them the best chance to survive and achieve a decent finish. With the attack unable to produce consistent scoring, his margin of error is razor-thin. How many times have we said the Magpies would be struggling without Dubravka being a hero? Too many to count. For Newcastle United to win some of these final matches, Karl Darlow will need to tally some clean sheets in place of the Slovakian star.