Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka will find himself in a unique position when his team takes on Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday (February 26).
The Slovak has made appearances for both teams this season and could either lift the trophy or earn a medal.
In the summer transfer window, Dubravka joined the Red Devils on a season-long loan. He struggled to get game time under manager Erik ten Hag and made only two appearances for the club. Both those appearances, however, came in the Carabao Cup, against Aston Villa in the third round and Burnley subsequently.
However, the oddity of the matter lies in the fact that Dubravka was recalled by Newcastle in the January transfer window before his loan spell ended. The move was triggered by the Magpies sending Karl Darlow to Hull City on loan.
Since Dubravka has already made appearances for Manchester United in the Carabao Cup, he will be cup-tied and unable to feature for his side. This means that Newcastle manager Eddie Howe will have to look to Loris Karius, a player who has never played for the Magpies before.
Should Newcastle win the match, Dubravka will be able to lift the trophy but will not be able to get a winners’ medal. However, he could get a medal if his side lose to Ten Hag’s men, as the rules of the competition state:
“In addition to the Cup, the Management Committee shall present 30 souvenirs to the winning Club in the Final Tie and 30 souvenirs to the losing Club. Additional souvenirs may be presented with the consent of the Management Committee but shall be at the cost of the requesting Club.”
Casemiro heaps praise on Manchester United teammate
Manchester United midfielder Casemiro has complimented his teammate Bruno Fernandes. Ahead of the team’s Carabao Cup final clash, the Brazilian referred to the Portuguese as the team’s ‘best player’.
“Before coming to Manchester United, I’d turn on the TV and watch their games… and he was the best player.”
“He’s one of the guys that helps up front and midfield, he is part of that transition. He’s our best player there.”
Fernandes and Casemiro have proved to be vital pieces in Manchester United’s strong performances under Erik ten Hag this season. The defensive midfielder, who arrived from Real Madrid in a £70 million deal, has helped in stabilizing the defense that looked leaky at the beginning of the season.