Karl Darlow has been tipped to be a high-profile summer departure for Newcastle – regardless of whether the club is relegated or not at the end of this season – and is only doing right by himself in the process.
What’s the story?
Ex-England goalkeeper Paul Robinson believed that amid an injury to typical no. 1 Jordan Pickford, Darlow joined West Brom’s Sam Johnstone as natural candidates to come into the squad.
“I think he was in with a serious shout of getting in the England squad before he got dropped,” he told Football Insider.
“It would have been between him and Sam Johnstone. Johnstone has been exceptional this season but so has Karl Darlow. His performances gave himself a great opportunity of getting into Gareth Southgate’s plans but Bruce dropped him after an indifferent performance at Manchester United.
“It is always going to be difficult for Darlow with someone of Dubravka’s quality behind him. Manager’s tend to have a loyalty to their number one goalkeeper. It is almost like a comfort blanket.
“Darlow was very highly rated when he was young but he has struggled for game time at Newcastle.
“I think the way he has played this season, and how close he got to an England call up will give him the hunger and desire to go and play regular football.
“I think regardless of whether Newcastle stay up, he will leave this summer.”
According to a separate report in The Times, Steve Bruce’s recent decision to suddenly drop Darlow in favour of Martin Dubravka angered Darlow, who signed a new five-year deal in September.
Given his treatment and ability to shine when given the chance to do so, Darlow has every right to question his current position.
He has kept four clean sheets in 25 Premier League appearance and is hardly getting any younger at 30 years of age.
Consequentially, a summer move is the best shot he has at getting a long-term move that would ensure regular game-time as a nailed-on starter.
In that sense, it is hard not to empathise with his rough treatment on Tyneside.
As a club consolation, his new deal will put the Magpies in the driving seat to command a sizeable fee for their asset.