Broadcaster and former Newcastle United commentator Mick Lowes has given his views on Freddie Woodman ahead of the season.
Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has found himself in a bit of a sticky situation this summer when it comes to the goalkeeper position. He currently has four of them on the books in the form of Mark Gillespie, Karl Darlow, Martin Dubravka and the aforementioned Woodman – so there is bound to be disappointment if they all harbour hopes of being the Toon’s No 1.
Darlow and Dubravka have both been out of action recently, and although Darlow has since returned to training, with Woodman starting their most recent pre-season friendly against Norwich City, signs do seem to point towards the season potentially starting with Woodman between the sticks.
Speaking about Woodman on NUFC Matters, Lowes was full of praise for the 24-year-old, and said that the only problem Newcastle United might face with him is keeping hold of him long-term:
“I’m going to say this now: he will be a better goalkeeper than Dubravka and Darlow put together, long-term. I honestly believe that. I think he’ll be a proper, proper goalkeeper. He could be an England goalkeeper. He’s that good, this young man.
“But whether it’s too early or not that’s the problem.
“It’ll be interesting to see what they do. What he does is he’s not scared – he’s still a young man, but he’ll point fingers, and he’ll tell people what to do.
“I think it’s more a case of whether they can keep him rather than whether he’s worth being No 1 this season.”
TIF Thoughts on Mick Lowes’ comments about Freddie Woodman at Newcastle United…
Do you think that Woodman should be given a first-team chance?
No, not yet
Yes, it is time
A situation like the one Lowes foresees could potentially work out in Newcastle’s favour if Woodman turns out to be as good as Lowes thinks he can be, especially if people think that he could become an England player.
Given how much goalkeepers go for if they are seen as potential options for the national team, with Jordan Pickford being sold to Everton for £30m in 2017, and with Arsenal and Tottenham reportedly willing to pay the same for Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope respectively, a good season at Newcastle could potentially put Woodman in that same bracket.
So if Woodman does get a good spell in the team this season and impresses, then next summer they might look to sell him on to the highest bidder. And with both Darlow and Dubravka under contract until 2025, then they’ve got two Premier League-quality goalkeepers at their disposal to fall back on should Woodman be sold.