Newcastle United are set to part ways with the talented English custodian Paul Woolston. The goalkeeper has been part of Newcastle’s first team squad but didn’t manage to make an appearance for them in his three-year stint with them. The 19-year-old has been a part of their under-23 squad and has even gone on to represent the English national team at u-17 and u-18 levels.
The Magpies have been blessed with good goalkeeping options currently as they have the likes of Martin Dubravka, Rob Elliot, Karl Darlow, Matz Sels and Freddie Woodman at their disposal. Dubravka has been the first choice starter in the latter half of the season since his loan move from Sparta Prague and it is expected that after his impressive showings at the St.James’s Park, he might be signed on a permanent basis.
Woolston is set to be out of contract in the summer and the reports suggest that there are quite a few Championship clubs who are interested in him. Cardiff City, who recently secured their move to the Premier League, are currently considered as the favourites to sign this young goalkeeping star.
Newcastle boss Benitez appreciated Woolston’s abilities and said,”He’s a good keeper. He’s quite good with his feet. I think he’s keen to learn. He’s been good with us in every training session.” Even though he wasn’t able to make the matchday squad, Benitez used to make him train with the senior team and that speaks volumes about the young goalkeeper’s pedigree.
Newcastle United performance this season has been set up on solid defensive performances and the goalkeepers have played a crucial role in it. However, it is yet not certain who will be the number one choice stopper for the next season as Benitez has used Karl Darlow, Robb Elliott and Martin Dubravka at one point or the other in the current season. However, since his loan move, Dubravka has been hailed as the first choice starter for the Toon but for Newcastle to have him between the sticks next year, they need to make a move for him in the summer transfer window.
With three goalkeepers already vying for the no.1 spot, it would have been hard for the youngster to break through in the current Newcastle lineup and it won’t be a bad idea for Woolston to join a second division club so that he can get regular playing time, which will be the best step for his development.