Newcastle United keeper Martin Dubravka has started just once for Manchester United since making the loan switch in the summer.
However, the Slovakia international insists he’s enjoying life at Old Trafford, despite the splinters in his backside.
Speaking to MUFC TV following his Red Devils’ debut in the Carabao Cup win over Aston Villa, Dubravka said: “I came here to enjoy that match because it’s not often you have a chance to play. Obviously, I came here to challenge but I’m enjoying every minute.
“I’ve played against Man United so many times here (at Old Trafford) but now I represent this club. I enjoy every moment because it’s not that often. I enjoy working with him (de Gea). He’s a great lad. I came here to push and challenge, of course, but I respect David as a person. I’m glad we’ve created a good mood around the training ground with Tom (Heaton) and the other guys. I enjoy every minute with them. It’s good to be here.”
Dubravka jumped ship when United signed Nick Pope from Burnley, a keeper who instantly assumed the No.1 jersey at Newcastle and has proven to be one of the most consistent performers in the top flight this campaign.
Eddie Howe leaves the door open for his keeper
Coach Eddie Howe has said the door is open for Dubravka, who made 130 appearances since joining from Sparta Prague in January 2018, especially with the player still under contract until 2025.
“I think he is an outstanding goalkeeper, I really do,” Howe said. “I will have a chat with Martin as time progresses. I won’t speak now as he is in the middle of a busy period as we are. There will be a time when I will sit down with him and have a chat and see what he wants to do next.
“It’s difficult for me to comment. I don’t know what goes on at any other football club. All I will say is I love Martin as a lad, he did brilliantly for us last year and he is an outstanding goalkeeper and I will have a chat with him at the right time. Of course yeah, the door is still open. A lot depends on what Martin wants. We will take it from there.”
Is the door open to a Martin Dubravka return?
While Howe has no issues with Dubravka returning, fans seem less keen on the Rafa Benitez signing coming back.
On Twitter many were against it. @steve85080781 said: “As much as we are grateful for his tremendous contribution; think it’s best for both parties to remain apart.”
That was followed up by @oinkbaamoo, who said: “As long he knows his place, 3rd choice behind Darlow” and @1982_si: “Nope. Jumped ship to man utd when he should have stayed and been part of the journey. Had he been playing for man utd that's different, but he's 3rd choice there, so what prompted the move? Sorry, times gone.”
@Aussie_Geordie thinks United should be looking elsewhere. He said: “No thanks …. Bring in younger goalkeepers looking towards the future.” While @finnaz1892 was blunt in his response: “No chance - send him to Sunderland.”
Another United fan @Michael_Toon11 said: “He can sit on the u21 bench”.
And @m77sc has little sympathy for a player who ‘wanted to leave’.
“He wanted to leave when we were trying to sign Henderson in January and he left as soon as he could when Pope came. He could have stayed and fought for a place but hasn't endeared himself to the fans so it's a no for me,” he said.