By Paul Robinson

12th Jan, 2021 | 9:27am

'Huge' - Exclusive: Top pundit reacts to 'Awful' Newcastle news pre-Sheffield United

Martin Dubravka’s return from injury is a “huge boost” for Newcastle United – but the Slovakian should not replace Karl Darlow against Sheffield United tonight.

That the view of former Spurs and England number one Paul Robinson, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the selection issue facing Magpies boss Steve Bruce.

Dubravka, 31, made his long-awaited return from injury on Saturday as Newcastle were knocked out of the FA Cup by Arsenal 2-0 after extra time.

However, his absence has hardly been felt this season with number two Karl Darlow producing a number of eye-catching displays in between the sticks.

Ahead of tonight’s trip to Bramall Lane, Bruce admitted that he faces an “awful” decision regarding the pair and hinted that he could drop Darlow despite his form.

When asked by Football Insider for his assessment of the conundrum, Robinson said:

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“Dubravka should not get back in the team at the moment because Karl Darlow has been phenomenal.

“There are calls for Darlow to be included in the England squad, he has pushed himself that far on. Himself and Sam Johnstone are the two that will try and break into that England three if you like.

“Darlow has been outstanding this season. He has had to wait for his opportunity but he really has taken it with both hands.

“Dubravka was Newcastle’s Player of the Year last season and there was no way anyway was displacing him in the team. But he suffered an injury, which is unfortunate, and now Darlow has hit form at the right time.

“Having Dubravka back is a huge boost for Newcastle but you cannot take Karl Darlow out at the moment. He has played so well. It is a great dilemma for Steve Bruce to have though.” 

In other news, Newcastle United tipped to seal two signings in January after double update from the BBC.