Arsenal fans want out-on-loan Newcastle star signed, after Monday display
Swansea City edged a tiny step closer to the Championship play-off final and potential Premier League promotion with a 1-0 first-leg win over Barnsley on Monday night – and onlooking Arsenal fans were impressed with one player.
Last season, Steve Cooper’s side were stopped by Brentford in the semi-finals – with the Bees eventually losing Scott Parker’s Fulham. The Cottagers have since been relegated back into the Championship from the Premier League.
Swansea will be looking to right that wrong this time around, and they got off to good start in their two-legged affair with arguably the surprise package of the Championship campaign in Barnsley – who finished in the top six.
It is an amazing achievement from Barnsley and manager Valerian Ismael, but they came up short against Swansea on Monday night at Oakwell – with Ghanaian veteran Andre Ayew scoring the only goal of the game.
He curled home a left-footed effort after cutting in from the right, but Barnsley had their chances in front of a portion of returning fans. Freddie Woodman, though, was in excellent form for Swansea between the sticks.
The 24-year-old, who is enjoying his second loan spell at the Welsh side from Premier League club Newcastle United, made a number of crucial saves – but none more so than a second-half stop to deny Callum Brittain.
Having pushed a 20-yard effort from Carlton Morris wide of the goal, Brittain followed up and it looked like a definite goal for the Tykes. But Woodman sprung back to his feet and manage to block the effort down to his left.
Amazingly, that was Woodman’s 22nd clean sheet of the season. Missing just one of 46 Championship games prior to the play-offs, Woodman had only conceded 38 goals in the league and it showed as he starred on Monday.
It is a huge improvement on last season. Clocking up his 50th game of the season, Woodman has kept 22 clean sheets and conceded 44 – whereas last season, he conceded 50 in 43 games, managing just 12 clean sheets.
The London-born goalkeeper remains contracted at Newcastle until the summer of 2023, and should Swansea gain promotion – then they will surely look to keep Woodman permanently. But Arsenal have been regularly linked.
The Athletic claimed that Woodman was considered before Mat Ryan was signed from Brighton, but Newcastle needed to recall him from Swansea and the clause in which to do that had expired by the time Arsenal were keen.
But doubts have emerged over the future of Bernd Leno, while Ryan only remains on loan until the summer from Brighton. Alex Runarsson has struggled since moving to The Emirates, and a new goalkeeper could be targeted.
Indeed, Arsenal fans are keen to see Woodman added to their squad this summer having watched him impress on Monday night in Yorkshire – with many taking to Twitter to urge their side to sign Woodman in the coming months.
Woodman is insane
— roo (@AfcRoo) May 17, 2021
— kyle gerrard (@kylegerrard8) May 17, 2021
Woodman has been very good today. I can see why he was liked to be our backup a few months ago.
— 🔴⚪️ Lanne AFC 🇫🇷 (@LanneAFC) May 17, 2021
Freddie Woodman is such a class keeper!
— Joe Atkin (@JoeAFC_) May 17, 2021
If Arsenal are after a keeper this summer, they needn't look too much further than Freddie Woodman. Even as competiton/not straight No. 1.
Calming presence and proactive reading of the game.
Solid performance for Swansea tonight.
— Pain In The Arsenal (@PainInThArsenal) May 17, 2021
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