Newcastle have a lot on their plate this summer, with topics like their future under Mike Ashley and a new contract for Rafa Benitez all likely to be topics of attention.
However, a recent report from the Shields Gazette has provided Newcastle with another decision to make. Indeed, they’ve reported this week that goalkeeper Freddie Woodman is facing an uncertain future at the club, with Arsenal apparently interested in his services. Benitez wants to keep him, it is said, but the player is looking to further his career, and there’s no denying that a move to Arsenal would be an exciting prospect.
That said, Newcastle must be smart about this, and in the case of Woodman, maybe giving him more minutes on the pitch should be the priority.
After all, Arsenal’s interest speaks volumes about how highly-rated the 22-year-old is, as the club wouldn’t be targeting him if they didn’t think he could give Bernd Leno a run for his money.
And it must be said that, despite his lack of minutes, everything Woodman has done on the field bodes well for his future. He’s a strong shot-stopper, he’s agile and he’s decent in the air. Sure, he’s lacking experience, but what young goalkeeper isn’t? In each of his 3 FA Cup appearances this term, he looked pretty good – and it’s clear that he has a bright future.
Martin Dubravka is, of course, the current number one at Newcastle – but there are question marks over his head. He’s largely done well, but a poor game against Spurs earlier this season did prove that he’s not perfect, whilst at 30-years-old, further development is unlikely.
In Woodman, however, Newcastle would have a decent option with the future in mind, and Benitez recognises that – and it’s time that Newcastle did too. He wants to develop his career, but he would be able to do that if he’s given minutes at his current club. This is an obvious path for the Magpies to take.