Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Celtic Linked With Newcastle United Defensive Starlet: Does Rodgers Really Need Him?

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Ayush Chaurasia
Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.

Latest reports from The Yorkshire Post suggests that Celtic are set to go after Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman who is also linked with a move to Leeds United especially after the injury crisis the Whites are going through in the goalkeeping department. Woodman has experience of playing in Scotland as he has had loan spells at Kilmarnock and Aberdeen before.

Craig Gordon is edging towards 36, and one cannot fault the club for looking at a new goalkeeper even though the Scottish international seems to be good enough to carry on at the moment. However, the former Sunderland shot-stopper appears to be on a downward trajectory as he has been replaced by Rangers’ Allan McGregor in the Scotland national team.

21-year-old Woodman is currently third in the pecking order at St. James’ Park as the Magpies have the likes of Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow. Woodman’s claim to fame happened when he won the FIFA u-20 World Cup with England for the first time in their history. His major contribution in the final was a crucial one as he saved a spot-kick from Venezuela and England held on to a narrow 1-0 win. The youngster won the golden glove in that tournament.

Woodman has played at almost all youth levels for England, and we wouldn’t be wrong in saying that he could be a  future England international. He seems to have everything in him which a top goalkeeper needs and one can understand why even clubs like Arsenal are also interested in him.

There were reports (Evening Express) of Celtic’s interest in him even in the January transfer window this year, and he has been one of the long-term targets for the club. Now after Woodman’s recent interview, it seems like he is ready for a permanent switch. The shot-stopper was quoted as saying (The Mirror),”I want to get the best out of a bad situation. January is around the corner and I have to be prepared for it when it comes. I’ve always said I enjoy playing football so whatever level it is, I am going to enjoy it.”

We feel Celtic are not in desperate need of a goalkeeper right now, and it wouldn’t make sense for them to spend millions on a shot-stopper. Given that he is young and English, Woodman is not expected to come in cheap. Rodgers signed Scott Bain this year only after he showed good enough promise while he was on loan. 

Veteran goalkeeper Dorus de Vries is likely to leave next summer as his contract will be running out and he would be 38 by that time so maybe the club might need a new goalkeeper there. However, someone like Conor Hazard from the academy can step up to fill that role, and the Hoops don’t need to spend millions to land a new goalkeeper.

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