Newcastle United's loss is Sunderland's gain as summer target Robbin Ruiter stars

Rafael Benitez, the Newcastle United manager looks on during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United at John Smith's Stadium on August 20, 2017 in...

Robbin Ruiter's superb penalty save ensured Sunderland progressed in the EFL Cup - meanwhile, Newcastle United still need a goalkeeper.

Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez gestures during the English Premier League football match between Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United at the John Smith's stadium in...

The fact that there is still no new goalkeeper at St James’ Park perhaps sums up the frustration surrounding Newcastle United throughout the transfer window.

Manager Rafael Benitez made clear at the start of the summer that a fresh number one was required ahead of The Magpies’ return to the Premier League.

But, despite links with countless talented ‘keepers, Rob Elliot (below) has started the club’s first two games of the new season and exit-linked duo Karl Darlow and Tim Krul remain in the squad.

Robert Elliot of Newcastle United warms up prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St. James Park on August 13, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne,...

And the sight of Robbin Ruiter starring in his competitive debut for local rivals Sunderland on Tuesday does not help matters. HITC sources told us earlier in the transfer window that Newcastle were keeping tabs on the Dutchman following his release from FC Twente.

Newcastle's loss, Sunderland's gain?

However, Ruiter instead signed a deal with Sunderland after impressing on trial, producing some superb virtuoso performances in pre-season. And the 30-year-old justified The Black Cats’ faith when deputising for Jason Steele in Tuesday’s 2-1 EFL Cup victory away at Carlisle United.

Though hardly the most high profile of opposition, Ruiter did everything that was asked of him in style. A penalty save from Carlisle’s Danny Grainger will hog the headlines but his superb reaction stop to tip over a Jamie Devitt effort was one of the best stops of the entire round.

Robbin Ruiter of Utrecht is congratulated be the fans after winning the Eredivisie Europa League Play off match between FC Utrecht and FC Twente at Stadion Galgenwaard on May 26, 2013 in...

As such, Sunderland manager Simon Grayson will have a welcome selection headache when deciding whether or not to instil Ruiter as his regular number one ahead of fellow summer signing Steele.

Newcastle counterpart Benitez could only dream of such options. It remains to be seen whether Ruiter can maintain his impressive early form but, at the moment, Newcastle’s loss certainly looks to be Sunderland’s gain.

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