Newcastle United’s young goalkeeper Freddie Woodman has been speaking about his career this week with the Evening Express. He expressed his impatience at waiting for first-team football:
“I’ve been trying to push to play for quite a long time and I’m quite an impatient person.
“I want to play football matches because that’s when I’m at my happiest. Hopefully, if I can do well here and go back to Newcastle, I’ll see what’s in store for me there.”
Such comments must concern Newcastle fans. Woodman is perhaps one of the most talented young goalkeepers in the country. The 20-year-old won the golden glove at last summer’s Under-20 World Cup, a tournament in which England were triumphant.
Yet he is still waiting for a real chance at Newcastle – who have a litany of ‘keeping options.
Newcastle already have Rob Elliot, Karl Darlow and Matz Sels on their books. With Sels on loan at Anderlecht and the latter pair failing to impress Woodman could have been an option for Rafa Benitez this season. Instead, they signed Martin Dubravka.
Woodman subsequently demonstrated his impatience by heading to Aberdeen on loan for the rest of the season.
The talented stopper has already impressed in Scotland and is clearly a top goalkeeping talent.
Newcastle, who are battling for Premier League safety, could soon find themselves fighting to keep hold of Woodman.
Woodman is clearly a player who feels ready to play first-team football on a weekly basis. If Dubravka’s deal is made permanent in the summer the talented keeper will find himself in competition with at least three other stoppers. Belgian stopper Sels is expected to leave but Darlow, Elliot and the Slovakian stopper would remain.
Losing a player of Woodman’s obvious quality would be a massive mistake by Newcastle. But it is becoming clear the England talent will not be waiting around for his first-team chance at St James’ Park forever.
Newcastle will need to give him assurances of an obvious pathway to the first-team this summer or risk losing one of their more talented players.