t`s been widely reported in the press over the past week that reserve goalkeeper Fraser Forster would make a loan move to Brian Laws` Burnley as they prepare to bounce back from The Championship at the first attempt.
But quotes surfacing yesterday from The Claret`s supremo suggest that the deal is far from being wrapped up.
Chris Hughton has already pulled the plug on one championship loan move for Forster when newly promoted Norwich, who he spent a successful season with last term, came calling and Laws seems to think that Hughton may be prepared to repeat that feat – as Forster has picked up a slight injury. However, there`s been no mention from the club of any injury to Forster, with most assuming his absence from the Carlisle game was due to his impending move, which leads us to believe that Hughton is still undecided on who will provide the competition for Toon number 1 Steve Harper.
Harper waited a long time to be the number 1 but he`s 35 and realistically only has a couple of seasons left performing at the top level. Luckily, behind him we have a wealth of ‘keeping talent and alongside Forster waiting in the wings is his very capable replacement Tim Krul. The Dutch u21 stopper has already kept vital clean sheets for the Toon and endeared himself to the Toon Army with a string of eccentric match-winning and match-saving stops, away to Palermo and West Brom respectively. There had been talk of a possible loan move for Krul as well, but until his new contract is signed it is unlikely that the Krul will be departing anywhere. And the talent doesn`t stop there, highly rated Swedish u19 goalkeeper Ole Soderberg is tipped to make a big impact in the reserves this season and, with his height and physical presence, looks set to go on to great things.
I look forward to seeing one of our goalkeepers get the opportunity to perform week-in week-out and gain experience, but regardless of who goes it`s always nice to see our young lads being linked with loan moves to other clubs. Mike Ashley made big waves a couple of seasons ago when he called for Newcastle to “operate more like Arsenal” and the Gunners have been successfully loaning out their talent for years. I always assumed we didn`t loan out our youth players because they simply weren`t good enough, after all, if you were a championship club – would you want to take Jamie McClen or Martin Brittain for a season? But links like this can only be positive indications as to how our academy is being run and for the future of our club.
I have faith in Forster and Krul as back-ups and whichever goes out on loan, the experience they will gain will be vital for the future of our club. But whoever goes will have by far the easiest job this season as one prepares for an exciting challenge in the Championship as the other sits down with Harper and Barron to plot just how on Earth they`ll keep out Rooney, Berbatov and Scholes on the first day of the season.
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