Not too long ago, reports from the Chronicle came out that Celtic were one of the interested clubs in signing Newcastle United’s 22-year-old goalkeeper Freddie Woodman. The English custodian has struggled for game time, and as a result, he wants a move in the summer.
Apart from Celtic, Arsenal were said to be interested. Now latest reports from Shields Gazette states that the Gunners are favourites to sign the 22-year-old and Celtic are lagging behind in the race to sign this u-20 World Cup winner.
Arsenal are set to lose the services of Petr Cech as he is going to retire after the end of the season. They have reportedly identified Woodman as the deputy to Berd Leno, and the custodian himself is keen on a move. Woodman was left disappointed by the Magpies as he wasn’t allowed to go on loan earlier. Benitez has a top goalkeeper in the form of Martin Dubravka, and even someone like Karl Darlow can do a decent job in between the sticks.
What can tilt the scales further in favour of Arsenal is that Woodman’s father, Andy is now head of Arsenal’s goalkeeping academy. Apart from that, Chris Terpcou is currently the goalkeeping coach for Arsenal’s u-15 to the u-18. Terpcou was previously at Newcastle and Woodman has worked with him before.
Therefore all these factors can definitely turn the tide in Arsenal’s favour, and maybe that is the reason why they are being counted as the favourites right now to sign this talented custodian.
Woodman made his name when he won the golden glove at the u-20 World Cup which England eventually won. The Englishman’s contribution in the final was a crucial one as he saved a penalty in regular time to give England a 1-0 win. The 22-year-old is quick on his feet and has sharp reflexes, and many tout him as a future England international.
Celtic though would be disappointed to learn about the latest developments and to be fair, they can’t do much here to influence the goalkeeper. Arsenal are a top club and getting a chance to work with familiar faces will definitely come into play. A move to Arsenal could be tough for anyone to ignore. The Hoops can probably offer him regular playing time as Craig Gordon is almost past his prime.
However, it would be unfair on Scott Bain who has done exceptionally well since the winter break. So all in all, Celtic are likely to miss out on this goalkeeper as things stand at the moment.
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