Rob Elliot was dropped lately and in came Karl Darlow and when that happened last season, when Karl replaced Matz Sels, he stayed as the number one goalkeeper for the rest of the season.
But that didn’t happen this time and a blunder at home to Everton when he was at fault for Everton’s winning goal, saw Rob came back in against Arsenal, and we expect Rob to play tomorrow at West Ham.
Rafa was trying to sign a goalkeeper over the summer, and they included Pepe Reina, Adrian from West Ham and Manchester City free agent Willy Caballero.
But we were not successful – if we had been, it looks like Karl Darlow would have signed for Middlesbrough.
Kiko Casilla – Real Madrid goalkeeper
This is what Rafa has said about our top two goalkeepers – as reported in the Chronicle:
“The goalkeeper situation is the same as with any other. Every player in this team, or indeed any team if they are professionals, they have to compete and be ready,”
“We can talk about whether they [Darlow and Elliot] have confidence or not, but it doesn’t matter, they have to be ready.”
“Rob knew that he would be playing at Arsenal, and he did well. Karl knows that the way to regain his position is to keep working hard.”
“That is what both of them have to do.”
“I expect a good reaction from both of them, and that is what I have been getting. We have a good team spirit, and they are both working really hard.”
If Rafa is to be able to send young England U21 goalkeeper Freddie Woodman out on loan he will need to bring in another goalkeeper next month.
Freddie wants to go out on loan, and he will not get too many England U21 call-ups unless he’s playing regular first-team football.
It was clear in the summer that Rafa wanted a new number one goalkeeper brought in and if one of his current targets is available, then it wouldn’t surprise us if he signs one next month.
Our hunch is that he wants Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla whom he signed for Real back in the summer of 2015 when Rafa was the manager there.
Freddie Woodman – top young prospect for Newcastle
That would at least allow one of our brightest young prospects – Freddie Woodman – to go on loan and get some first team experience.
He’s been very patient these last two seasons when he’s had so few first team games.
He did play 14 times on loan for Kilmarnock earlier this year.
What do you think?