Rafa Benitez yesterday announced the only player who was available to leave next month was Rob Elliot, who is now 4th choice goalkeeper at Newcastle.
That’s a blow to Rob who has his family settled in the northeast, but it looks like he will be moving on with 18 months left on his current contract.
Rob is now 32 although goalkeepers can last into their late 30s if they take care of themselves.
Rob Elliot in action for Newcastle
Rafa was asked if he had spoken to Rob about his situation and this is what he sais as reported in the Shields Gazette:
“Yes, he knows.
“The way modern football is now, sometimes you can’t talk to your player.”
“I had a surprise years ago when I was talking to a player, and he said ‘no, don’t talk to me, talk with my agent’, but I was talking with Rob.”
“He’s not playing and he’s available, and that’s it. We have four keepers, and we cannot keep him.”
“There’s a point where you can say ‘I’m fine here’.”
“But there’s also a point where you say ‘hmmm, if I don’t play now, what will happen next?”
“So I think he’s keen to play.”
Rob Elliot joined Newcastle from Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2011 and has played 68 times for the first team – he has been capped 4 times for the Republic of Ireland.
Rob Elliot was our Player of the Season in our relegation season 2015-2016 when he performed so well.
If Rafa allows Rob to leave it would mean that Freddie Woodman would be staying at Newcastle for the rest of the season, maybe as the backup goalkeeper.
Rafa has said the young goalkeeper is now happy being the number two at Newcastle.
Whether he remains on the bench when Karl Darlow is fully fit remains to be seen.
Freddie needs to be playing to improve his game and get some experience.
What do you think?