Why Is Benitez Still Trying To Sign Goalkeepers This Summer?

It looks like we have unearthed a top class goalkeeper in 29-year-old Slovakian International Martin Dubravka.

The loanee from Sparta Prague has kept two clean sheets in the last two home games, and we have 7 points from the four games he has played.

Because of his command of the penalty box and his skills on the ground, he seems to be an improvement on both Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow.

Rafa is expected to sign Dubravka for €4M this summer – that’s the fee in an option to buy in his loan contract.

But Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow cannot be too happy about the current situation, and one or both may want to leave the club this summer.

Alban Lafont – 19-year-old Toulouse goalkeeper

Maybe that’s why Newcastle are still being linked with goalkeepers this summer?

Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been linked with a possible move to Newcastle from Porto, and we have also been linked recently via L’Equipe, with 19-year-old Toulouse goalkeeper Alban Lafont.

Lafont is one of the top young goalkeepers in France and has played for all the French Youth sides through the U20 level.

He has also played 95 times for the Toulouse first team after making his Ligue 1 debut in November 2015 against Nice, when he was just 16.

Lafont stands 6ft 4ins tall and was born in Burkina Faso.

He is attracting lots of interest from some top clubs in Europe, so it would be a coup if we can sign this 19-year-old.

Lafont would immediately challenge for a first-team place on Tyneside.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

33 comments so far

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Mar 14, 2018 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #1

    That’s the thing would Ashley really do the whole “clubs up for sale” so no money spent all through the summer when everyone in the world knows we would be sitting on record money?

    Wouldn’t put it past him but it be his biggest move yet !

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Mar 14, 2018 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #2

    Dubruvka is good but we need better backup as Elliot and Darlow are a bit flappy or unfit so might as well get 2 quality keepers so if one is injured or out of form we can bring in another keeper who can command his area!

    Woodman needs a championship loan next season and then I think he could be ready to challenge the season after

  • Jib

    Mar 14, 2018 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #3

    Woodman saved 3 penalties last night
    for Aberdeen !

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Mar 14, 2018 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #4


    If you ever had any credibility on this blog you destroyed it last night. I’m not surprised that you haven’t posted since. I think a change of monicker is required. Start again.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Mar 14, 2018 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #5

    Yeah been keeping a good eye on Woodman up here in Scotland! Aberdeen was a decent move for him would quite like to see us maybe loan a few other players to them for a season and then championship the season after

  • posada

    Mar 14, 2018 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #6

    Because of his command of the penalty box and his skills on the ground, he seems to be an improvement on both Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow.

    The above answers Ed’s own question.
    If you want that from your keeper you should want it from all of your keepers.
    We have seen the affect the new goalie has had.
    What would happen if we had to go back to old ways.
    That would be the case after an injury or suspension.

  • Jib

    Mar 14, 2018 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #7

    412 hours 14 minutes until our
    next PL kick off

  • Ron Knee

    Mar 14, 2018 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #8

    A Pain

    Or seek medical help!

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Mar 14, 2018 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #9

    Benitez spent a fair bit this season so we shouldn’t go on like he’s performed a miracle. When you consider none of the players we sold had any chance of making even one appearance you have to say we lost nothing from the championship winning team and we added 40m worth of talent (not including Atsu who was already there so didn’t change anything from last season) Then we’ve brought in approximately 40m worth of talent in on loan in January. Just because we didn’t buy them outright doesn’t mean Benitez doesn’t have the use of those players.

    You might say we recouped up to 6m for Gibson and a few million for Hanley and cleared x amount from wages, but that hasn’t effected Benitez’s job one bit. Most of BEnitez’s signings are coming good. Lejuene has looked briliant recently, and if it wasn’t for that terrible 9 game run we had we’d be up with Burnley so I think we’re in a false position and I fully expect Benitez to get us top 8 next year. However you have to question the wisdom of spending almost 10m on a CB when we had 3 decent ones already. That could have been added to the 10m spent on Joselu & Manquillo to buy a number 10 or striker as could the 12m spent on our 3rd choice left winger Murphy or the 6m on Atsu. And we’ve been awful upfront. Ritchie, Perez, and Atsu have about 6 goals between them and the strikers havent been much better. Yet all the while we’ve had a £20m goalscoring, target man, international striker sitting on the bench. My rating for Benitez’s season would be 7/10 which is better than all the 2/10 managers we’ve had recently. Next season he needs to stop buying defenders and goalkeepers and focus on creating goals then maybe he will be the messiah.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 14, 2018 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #10

    It’s a tricky one finding a very good back up keeper. Your Steve Harper’s of the world are a rare breed. Look at Forster.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #11

    The next Mike Williamson,
    Considering everyone on this blog just about, thinking that Ashley was going to back Benitez, said we need at least five PL quality players to have a decent season. Can you honestly say we got that.
    Going into a season previously with only three CB’s is why we have had consistently one of the worst GD’s in the PL over the last eleven years.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #12

    The next Mike Williamson,
    Did you know that the 3M target man played less and scored more than the 20M target man last season.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #13

    And he hasn’t really had use of all three loan players has he.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #14

    “and if it wasn’t for that terrible 9 game run we had we’d be up with Burnley”
    That’s a bit like Jibs defence of McLaren shambolic management.
    “If it wasn’t for those 1-6, 1-6, 1-5 and 0-3 hidings our GD wouldn’t be so bad”

  • Jib

    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #15

    Lewis Gibson is an interesting one.

    He’s swapped learning under Rafa
    for Sam Allardyce’s pearls of wisdom.

    Obviously he must have got a % of
    the £6m as a fee which must be a
    temptation for any 17 year old but
    he may live to regret his move.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #16

    Wasn’t it to do with the bullying at the academy.

  • bettyswallocks

    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #17

    Pain in the blog…………. I’m still here and won’t be changing my monicker. I’m sorry if my comments offended you in any way.

  • wynsleap

    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #18

    The answer to the question at the head of this article is probably because we only have one really good keeper – Dubravka who, let’s not forget, is on loan and should the rest of his season be as good as the way he’s started he may not be available. In addition I am sure he would be more than willing to get a few bob for Sels, Elliott and Darlow to help improve the overall quality of the goalkeeping position.

  • lesh

    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #19


    Your comment wasn’t offensive at all. It was incredible, hilarious.

    We’ve discovered a worthy successor to Ken Dodd, bless him.

  • bettyswallocks

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #20

    Lesh…….. Thank you. I’m glad it amused you.

  • beermonkey

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #21


    didnt he sign when Ronald Koeman was manager

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #22

    He did, but spare him the “thicko ha ha ha” treatment. He really does struggle with this footy carry on.

  • cyprus

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #23

    You say Rafa could leave if Ashley refuses to sign Kenedy.

    Again, that statement assumes that Ashley is micromanaging the club and that is simply not the case. Ashley will step in to go OVER the club’s budget. We all want that, but such a case is different to what you say.

    Rafa IS top management, not something else. He will decide, along with the scouting team, who they want, within the club’s finances.

    If it’s true that Ashley isn’t taking anything out, then Rafa already knows the budget, should we stay up.

    If I was in his place I’d spend most available money on a CF AND bring back our international CF.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #24

    3 or 4 quality players to add to the group would make us significantly stronger than a lot of teams as we already have the hard work , defensive shape and tactical discipline sorted we just need a bit more quality up front!

    We also have Haidara , Gamez out of contract and you imagine Mbemba , Saviet , Selz , Aarons and possibly Mitrovic out the door so there should be space in the squad for some quality!

    We need competition for Dummett , a no 10 , a defensive midfielder and 2 strikers at a minimum to go with buying Kennedy and Dubruvka and I think this would take us close to finishing best of the rest below top 8

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #25


    I think Lejuenes is brilliant and Murphy will come good, just think we badly needed a number 10 and we don’t seem to have prioritised it. Maddison or Pires should have been signed when Cairney turned us down. I said at start of Championship we didn’t have enough players for the attacking 4 positions, but we got lucky with injuries and survived. We’ve also gone two seasons without anyone who can play number 10 which is ridiculous. Diame was never a number 10. You can tell by just looking at him. So Rafa’s score for the season has to take into account his decisions to play Joselu & Diame out of position which have cost us points. I think 7/10 is an honest assesment, maybe even generous. Not giving him 9 like some would, nor 4 like his detractors would. And it’s not too late for us to surge up to the top half in which case he’d get a better rating.

    And for his age, Mitrovic is one of the best targetmen in Europe. He did OK last season in the games he started, but seems to suffer when he’s in and out the team.

  • Jib

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #26

    didnt he sign when Ronald Koeman was manager

    yeah he did

    but Koeman ain’t there now

  • Jib

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #27

    He’s swapped learning under Rafa
    for Sam Allardyce’s pearls of wisdom.

    That is “he has swapped” not he’d “he had swapped”

    current situation
    this hour
    do you get it ?

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #28

    3 quality attacking players, and maybe a DM & RB and we could end up pushing the top 6. Maddison, Loftus-Cheek or Pires should be our priority, and maybe Traore to give competition to Ritchie. It seems impossible to find a good striker. Most teams in England are playing target men types so the ones that are left aren’t all that good. My opinion is that Mitrovic is possibly the best we could get in that role, so maybe try to find a speedy type to replace Gayle with Armstrong & Joselu as back up. I’d replace Manquillo with someone from the Championship too if there was money available.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #29

    I heard Everton are looking at buying the young left back from Preston, so it’s not looking like a wise decision from Gibson. Maybe we can get him back.

  • beermonkey

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #30


    then your original statement is wrong

  • Jib

    Mar 14, 2018 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #31

    (note to self)
    Beermonkey would appear to be as stupidly pedantic
    as Jail for Ashley and Mr Tuff – do not engage.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Mar 14, 2018 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #32

    Well that’s right. With more quality in the group, and so less necessity to grind out points, Mitro may well come back into the frame. Gayle I think will be moved on and probably Joselu if possible, leaving us with Mitro and Perez and two strikers needed to be brought in. I’m sure Mitro and Perez are our most promising forwards.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 14, 2018 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #33

    The next Mike Williamson,
    We finished joint top scorers last year and joint best defence with the most points. This was playing in Rafa’s favoured style, if he’d changed his tactics just to suit Mitro we may or may not have accomplished that. And to say we should have signed him or him is pure opinion. How do you know who Rafa had on his list. We’ve had it from the horses mouth that he hands over a list. We don’t get to see those lists.


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