The 24-year-old, valued at £9m on Transfermarkt, has been out on loan at Championship side Swansea City for the past two seasons in a bid to aid his development as a player, and it’s fair to say it’s been a success, at least on the numbers front.
He’s gone from conceding 50 goals in the regular Championship season in 2019/20 to just 38 in 2020/21, and increasing his clean sheets total from 12 to 21 in the same timeframe – the latter of which was the most in the division. But what his future holds is still a mystery: do Newcastle sell him, loan him out again or keep him as part of the first team at St. James’ Park?
Speaking on the Everything is Black and White podcast, Douglas seemed to think that his future will lie elsewhere, whether that be permanently or just on a temporary basis again:
“I think that it could well be that Woodman, if an offer comes in for him, they might listen to an offer for Woodman with certain terms attached to the transfer, so maybe a buy-back or a massive percentage [sell-on fee] like we’ve seen with Adam Armstrong as well.
“But I don’t think there’s that kind of money sloshing around the market at the moment, because I don’t think in the Championship there’s anybody with £20m-£30m to spend. And I certainly don’t think there would be any chance of that move to Swansea happening on a permanent basis now they’re not promoted.
“It could be another loan for Woodman. For me, that kind of kicks the can down the road a little bit, which is [what] we’re kind of used to with Newcastle, that is their default setting, is kicking the can down the road when it comes to the Lee Charnley era. That, unfortunately, is where we often see them going, and that that could well be the sort of compromise.”
TIF Thoughts on Mark Douglas’ comments on Freddie Woodman…
Do you think that Woodman should be given a first-team chance?
No, not yet
Yes, it is time
Douglas is right in his assessment of things, in the sense that this certainly is approaching a crucial time in Woodman’s career, and Newcastle need to be more decisive when it comes to what they want to do with him.
You could argue that after his performances with Swansea, he has earned the chance to play in the Premier League, whether that be with Newcastle United or someone else, so the Championship should probably be ruled out as an option.
But the time has come for Newcastle to decide if he has a future at the club or not. If they think he does, he should be given a chance as the number one. If not, then move him on to someone who will, and cash in on him whilst they still can.