On the first of August, it was announced that Freddie Woodman had agreed to extend his current deal for one year while going on a season-long loan to Swansea.
A couple of days later, Woodman made his debut with a start and win against Hull City. Freddie has gone on to start all six games for first-placed Swansea, during which he has kept 3 clean sheets.
While it has only been one month and it’s still early in his loan-spell, it’s not too early for Newcastle to start coming up with a plan for the twenty-two-year-old.
The first step is to get Freddie signed up on a long-term deal to ensure that his future is secured at Newcastle. We don’t want to risk him running down his contract for him to leave on a free in 2021, or being forced to sell him at a cut-rate price before then.
The next step would be to arrange for another season-long loan deal but in the Premiership. Maybe to a newly promoted club, or even back to Swansea should they manage to gain promotion.
We could presumably keep Woodman next year to fight it out with Martin Dubravka. However, Freddie is going to want to get games, and he most likely won’t want to be relegated to just cup matches.
Newcastle probably should also look at extending Karl Darlow as he is reliable back-up keeper. That would allow for Woodman to go on loan next season. We have young Jake Turner who is only twenty but could possibly be seen as a third-choice next season. If not, Newcastle can always bring in an experienced journeyman as to fill that role.
If the club can get Freddie a solid loan deal to a Premier League club for next season, then they will have a better grasp at what his true potential is. If he does exceptionally well, then he should be brought back for the 2021-22 season and given every opportunity to be our number one.
If he doesn’t look quite ready to be the top man at Newcastle, then you can gauge his willingness to be a back-up until Dubravka leaves. Or, as long as he is signed long-term, he can be sold for a decent fee.
This all hinges on Woodman’s continued development at Swansea and beyond. But he looks a talent, and it would be a shame if he is allowed to move on without being afforded every opportunity to prove himself at Newcastle.