Tony Cascarino names Rafa’s NUFC signing ‘one of the best value-for-money players in Premier League’
Ton Cascarino has picked out one of Newcastle’s players for special praise after Saturday’s win over Chelsea.
Cascarino telling The Times that this superb Rafa Benitez is ‘one of the best value-for-money players in the Premier League.’
Step forward Martin Dubravk.
Stepping up to a major European league for the first time at the mature age of 29, he excelled from the off when making his debut at home to Manchester United with Newcastle deep in relegation trouble, Martin Dubravka kept a clean sheet and was man of the match as NUFC beat the Mancs 1-0 in February 2018.
He has never looked back and on Saturday started his 73rd Premier League match in a row for Newcastle United.
Rafa Benitez bringing in the keeper initially on loan, with an option to buy for £4m, which was activated at the end of the 2017/18 season.
The keeper only conceded 11 goals in 12 Premier League matches in 2017/18, only two clubs outside the top four conceded less than Newcastle that season.
Seamlessly moving into 2018/19, Martin Dubravka made it 50 Premier League appearances in a row.
The NUFC keeper conceding only 48 goals in 38 games despite it being yet another relegation fight. Once again only two clubs outside the top four conceded less goals than Newcastle.
Fast forward to 2019/20 and goals have been conceded at a faster rate by Martin Dubravka, with 34 in 23 PL games so far, as Steve Brice’s overly negative tactics have invited opposition teams to dominate and create far more chances.
Week after week the keeper is voted NUFC MOTM by fans (although this week edged into second by Ciaran Clark) and maybe his value is best summed up when you compare what Dubravka did on Saturday with the poor winning goal Kepa conceded in those final seconds.
Dubravka’s average goals per game conceded for Newcastle being:
2017/18: 0.91 goals per game
2018/19: 1.26 goals per game
2019/20: 1.48 goals per game
An overall NUFC record of 93 conceded in 73 PL matches, an average of 1.27 goals per game.
Tony Cascarino talking to The Times:
“At £4 million Martin Dubravka is one of the best value-for-money players in the Premier League.
“Week upon week the goalkeeper pulls off brilliant saves to keep Newcastle in matches.
“He shone against Chelsea, pulling off an acrobatic stop to deny Tammy Abraham in the second half.
“Dubravka’s performances are just as important for Steve Bruce’s team as Danny Ings’ goals for Southampton.
“Goalkeepers are scrutinised when they make mistakes but don’t get enough credit when they do well.”
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