Freddie Woodman of Swansea City gestures towards the Swansea City fans during the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston North End and Swansea City at Deepdale on February 01, 2020 in Preston, England. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by The Chronicle, Arsenal are keeping tabs on Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, who is currently playing on loan at Swansea City. The same source has also claimed that the Gunners want to sign the Magpies goalie as they are prepared to offer him the opportunity to fight for a first-team place with Bernd Leno at the Emirates Stadium.

In a recent interview before the recent COVID-19 outbreak (via The Chronicle), Steve Bruce had words of encouragement for Woodman when he said, “We’re very, very fortunate that we’ve got three or four good goalkeepers.

“The kid at Swansea – who we’re monitoring – is doing very, very well.”

Woodman’s Impressive Loan Spell At Swansea

The 23-year-old has enjoyed a fruitful loan spell at the Liberty Stadium and has been responsible for putting in some memorable displays in goal for the Swans so far. He has conceded 45 goals and secured 11 clean sheets in 37 matches for the Welsh outfit this term across all competitions which highlight how valuable he has been as part of Steve Cooper’s first-team.

Woodman has averaged 27.6 passes and 6.4 long balls per game in the English Championship this season and boasts a healthy pass success rate of 70.6% (stats via whoscored). Therefore, we can expect him to flourish in a team that prefers to play the ball out from the back as he is usually quite tidy with his ball-distribution.

The ex-Crystal Palace youth product has also represented England at various youth levels and is currently an integral member of his nation’s Under-21 set-up. He has featured in six matches for them so far but still has a lot to improve before he is ready to play for the Three Lions’ senior side someday.

Freddie Woodman of Swansea City reacts to conceding his sides first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Swansea City at Craven Cottage on February 26, 2020, in London, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

What Does The English Custodian Bring To The Table?

Woodman has quick reflexes that enable him to pull off some eye-catching diving saves at the back. He is also a decent handler of the ball and has shown signs of improvement as far as his passing is concerned this season. However, the London-born talent can be a bit slow to react in certain situations. Even then, his strengths outweigh his weaknesses which explains why a top club like Arsenal are hoping to land him this summer.

Should The Magpies Sanction Woodman’s Departure This Summer?

Steve Bruce currently has Martin Dubravka as his first-choice keeper while Karl Darlow acts as the deputy on the bench. Maybe, the Magpies boss should take a step back and consider keeping Woodman at Tyneside next season. The English goalie is currently not good enough to replace Dubravka, but he is more than capable of giving the Slovak goalie a run for his money in search of a first-team berth at St. James’ Park. One can even argue whether Woodman would serve as an upgrade over Darlow, whose contract with the Premier League club runs out at the end of this current campaign.

All in all, it seems like Newcastle United can benefit from retaining Woodman’s services for the long-run. However, for that to happen, Bruce needs to agree on a fresh contract with the 23-year-old as his current deal will only keep at Tyneside until the summer of 2021.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.