While Rafa has been the manager of Newcastle, Freddie Woodman has had only two short-term loan spells away from Newcastle.
He spent the second half of our promotion season on loan at Kilmarnock and then the second half of last season on loan at Aberdeen.
In those two loan spells, he amassed 23 first team appearances.
So that’s not much first-team experience in two and a half years, and now the 21-year-old will be staying at Newcastle at least through the end of the year.
Rafa Benitez talks to Freddie Woodman in training
Sometimes he has had to stay at Newcastle to be the third goalkeeper, but that isn’t the case right now with Newcastle having Dubravka, Darlow and Rob Elliott all fit and ready to play.
Freddie wants to go out on loan, and as an England U21 player, he was in some demand this summer.
But he hasn’t gone out on loan for whatever reason.
Local reports (one is in the Shields Gazette) suggests the lad is frustrated at his current situation, although he has a good working relationship with Rafa.
It will impact his England U21 career with most players on the team playing first team football somewhere.
Freddie has a contract at Newcastle that lasts until the summer of 2020 and where his future lies now is a good question.
Freddie refused to sign a one-year extension on his contract this summer so he may just stay for a couple of years and then become a free agent in the summer of 2020.
This is what Rafa has said about the situation:
“We don’t have anyone coming saying they want him now,”
“We had clubs before, but we told them that now is not the right time, so normally he has to stay.”
Several Championship clubs wanted him this summer, but nothing materialized.
And it looks like it was the club who turned down some advances for him to go out on loan.
Not sure what the thinking is behind that decision, but it’s not particularly good for Woodman’s career.
We’ll have to see what happens but he surely will be sent out on loan in January.
Maybe Rafa wants to coach him for half of the season, and he can learn from a top goalkeeper like Dubravka.
And then he can play first-team football on loan during the second half of the season?
Not sure what’s really going on here.
What do you think?