On Friday morning, Newcastle United announced their squad for the Premier League Asia Trophy. And the first name listed was Martin Dubravka.
Now we might be being presumptuous here, but did the announcement also give away a change of squad number?
Last season, the number one jersey was ‘worn’ by Rob Elliot, although he never actually wore it. As for Dubravka, he continued being number 12, the number he received when he arrived on loan in January 2018.
The club confirmed that Elliot is among the players who aren’t going to China next week. The goalkeeper is massively out of favour, and he also might have lost his shirt number.
🇨🇳 Newcastle United have announced their squad for the 2019 @premierleague Asia Trophy in Nanjing and Shanghai, which kicks off next week.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) July 12, 2019
The players seem to be listed by squad number. After Dubravka there is: Ciaran Clark (number two), Paul Dummett (number three), Ki Sung-Yueng (number four), Fabian Schar (number five), Jamaal Lascelles (number six), Jacob Murphy (number seven) and so on.
So if the players are listed by squad number, Dubravka would be in between Matt Ritchie and Yoshinori Muto. But alas, he’s the first name to appear. So perhaps he’ll be taking the number one shirt next season, which he absolutely deserves.
Ever since his debut against Manchester United, the stopper has been sensational. He will go down as another incredible Rafa Benitez signing made on a tiny budget.
The other name to note is Dwight Gayle. The striker wore the number nine before his exit, and the list suggest he’ll be getting it back…for now.