Martin Dubravka’s Manchester United absence explained amid Newcastle United loan move

Martin Dubravka did not feature in the Manchester United squad for the Manchester derby.

Martin Dubravka missed Manchester United’s derby defeat to Manchester City with a muscle injury.

The 33-year-old sustained the injury on international duty with Slovakia which forced him to return to Carrington earlier than expected.

Dubravka was assessed in the build-up to the clash at the Etihad Stadium but wasn’t fit enough to make the bench. Erik ten Hag’s side were hammered 6-3 by City following hat-tricks from Erling Haaland and Phil Foden.

Dubravka is yet to make his debut for the Red Devils since joining on a season-long loan from Newcastle United as David De Gea continues to occupy the No.1 spot.

The former Sparta Prague goalkeeper pushed to end his four-and-a-half-year spell at St James’ Park after Nick Pope claimed the No.1 spot soon after his £12million switch from Burnley.

Eddie Howe wanted Dubraka to remain on Tyneside but respected the player’s wishes to move to Old Trafford.

Man United have an option to sign Dubravka permanently next summer for around the £6m mark.

“To be joining Manchester United is a special moment in my career and I can’t wait to get started, and help the group achieve its ambitions,” Dubravka said last month.

“I am joining an excellent group of goalkeepers with lots of experience in the Premier League, and I know that we will push and support each other to keep our standards at the highest levels. The chance to work with David De Gea, alongside Tom Heaton, is one that I am relishing.”

Dubravka made 130 appearances for Newcastle - his last being the 2-1 win at Burnley in May - and by his own admission, made “amazing memories”.

He said: “I’d like to sincerely thank everyone at Newcastle United, and especially the fans, for many great experiences over the past four and a half years. I enjoyed every minute of my time there and made amazing memories to look back on.

“My focus is now on helping Manchester United, and we’ll see what the future holds after I have given my all this season. I am excited to be here!”