Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow has vowed to fight for his place at St James Park despite coming close to exiting the club last summer.
The shot-stopper whose current Magpies deal sees him take home £25,000-a-week (Source: Spotrac) shared that while he believes current No.1 Martin Dubravka has done good, he was aiming to selfishly push past him in order to be Rafa Benitez’s first choice keeper.
The Shields Gazette reported that while Darlow came close to joining the Magpies’ local rivals Middlesbrough last summer, a move was not in his thoughts for the current transfer window.
“It feels a bit different this summer,” the 27-year-old told the Shields Gazette.
“I think Martin,coming in and doing so well last season, he’s obviously the main man, so it’s about pushing him and helping him, but also selfishly trying to push past him.
“It’s a different situation to the one I’ve been in in the past, but it’s one I’m relishing. Hopefully, I can do my best and show what I’ve got.
“We’ve got an abundance of keepers here, but, as far as I know, I’ll be staying at Newcastle.
“I still feel like I’ve got a lot to give here and I want to prove that.”
Darlow seems very likely to be Benitez’s second choice keeper and he will likely get an opportunity to prove his worth in cup competitions in the upcoming campaign. While it’s nice to hear the shot-stopper vow to fight for his place at the club, it’s hard not to acknowledge what a hard task he has set himself. Dubravka was one of the key reasons why Benitez’s side looked stronger in the second half of their 2017/18 campaign and it’s easy to imagine that he will establish himself as an important member of the side in the upcoming campaign after permanently joining the club. However Benitez will be please that Darlow is not only hungry to compete but that he won’t kick up a fuss at hardly featuring next season. The last thing the Magpies manager needs is players becoming negative influences over not playing regularly but it seems Darlow isn’t at risk of turning into a toxic presence anytime soon.