It’s been a bit of a surprise that Rafa Benitez seems to be attempting to bring in a veteran goalkeeper to Newcastle this summer, maybe for a couple of years.
Most of us thought we were in good shape in the goalkeeping department with Karl Darlow, Rob Elliot and with veteran Newcastle number one goalkeeper Tim Krul returning from his loan spell at AZ Alkmaar and seemingly looking forward to fighting to regain his starting position in the Newcastle first team.
But that’s not what Rafa seems to be thinking and if he does manage to bring in either Pepe Reina from Napoli or Manchester City free agent Willy Caballero, you have to believe he will want them to start for Newcastle United next season.
Freddie Woodman in England’s colors
That’s essentially what he did last summer, when he brought in Belgian goalkeeper Matz Sels from Gent, because both Rob Elliot and Tim Krul were still recovering from their very serious ACL injuries.
But while Matz started the pre-season friendlies and was in the first team at the start of last season, he eventually lost his place to Karl Darlow and doesn’t seem to have a future at the club.
Rafa mustn’t think that Darlow, Elliott or Krul are good enough for Newcastle, otherwise why would he be thinking of bringing a goalkeeper in their mid 30s to the northeast?
Rafa has had a good look at promising England 20 year-old U20 goalkeeper Freddie Woodman and maybe the thinks Freddie could be Newcastle’s number one in one or two years time?
Certainly the youngster has looked the part when he has played for Newcastle in the firts team during friendlies and Rafa would have had the first half of last season to look closely at him.
Rafa kept the youngster at Newcastle as cover until Rob Elliot was fully fit, before he was allowed to go out on loan to Kilmarnock, where the reports were very good about how he performed north of the border.
And Freddie has recently been the star player for the England U20 team in the U20 World Cup in South Korea.
We have reached the semi-finals of that competition for the first time since 1993, by beating Mexico 1-0 and Freddie outstanding form will hardly have gone unnoticed by the Newcastle manager.
So maybe Rafa’s thinking is that he sees Woodman as his long term goalkeeper at the club, but as he gets first team playing time out on loan for a year or two, he wants an experienced veteran between the sticks at Newcastle.
That’s maybe one possible reason why Rafa is thinking of bringing in a veteran goalkeeper to the club this summer.
What do you think about this?