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Celtic Keeping Tabs On This Prodigious Newcastle United Shot-Stopper: Good Business By Lennon?

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Nikhil Vinodh
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According to a recent report by the Chronicle Live, Premiership giants Celtic are said to hold an interest in acquiring the services of Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman next season. The report suggests that the stopper still has a year left on his contract at the Tyneside club, but that they’re willing to approve another loan spell for him this summer. With Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow battling for the top-spot as Newcastle with Mark Gillespie available as back-up, it’s perhaps not overly surprising that the Toon are willing to allow last season’s Swansea City loanee to depart.

While the report has clarified that Celtic are interested in Newcastle United’s Freddie Woodman, there is a lack of clarity over whether the Celts will be able to offer him a first-choice role. The Glasgow club have been on the lookout for a Fraser Forster replacement for quite a while now, and Woodman, with prior Scottish experience, could be a good pick.

Speaking on the matter, Bruce said, “Freddie is in that situation where he wants to play. So we will review the whole situation. I understand that Freddie wants to play. We are very fortunate that we have two excellent goalkeepers in Dubravka and Karl Darlow who are terrific.”

What Is Celtic’s Current Goalkeeping Situation?

The Hoops had started the last campaign with three distinct options to choose from in the goalkeeper’s role but currently find themselves with just one of the three names remaining on the squad list. The end of the loan tenure of last season’s first-choice stopper Fraser Forster meant that he has now returned to Southampton, while Craig Gordon’s decision to depart the Parkhead club means that he’s now off their books too. With 28-year-old Scott Bain remaining as their only option, it would undoubtedly be in the club’s best interest to go out and sign a couple of new goalkeepers.

Celtic Are Interested In Newcastle United’s Freddie Woodman - Woodman strikes the ball
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 28: Newcastle’s 17 year old substitute goalkeeper Freddie Woodman in action before the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton at St James’ Park on December 28, 2014 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

How Did Freddie Woodman Make A Name For Himself?

The 23-year-old was originally born in the English capital city of London and began his career with the Palace youth system. Despite this, it’s worth conceding that the stopper first came through the ranks at Newcastle, after joining them as a teenager back in 2013. Although he’s been a member of the Newcastle United books for a little over seven years now, Woodman has only made a total of four first-team appearances for the Tyneside club, with each of them coming in the FA Cup as well.

What Makes Woodman An Attractive Prospect For Celtic? 

For starters, the fact that the stopper has prior experience of playing in the Premiership will come as a massive boost. The 23-year-old has spent loan stints at Kilmarnock and Aberdeen during his younger days, and despite being utilised only sparingly, he’s done enough to project himself in a good light. The Englishman spent the last campaign on loan at Championship club Swansea City, where he was the unchallenged first-choice keeper, and went on to make 41 appearances during their league campaign.

Celtic Are Interested In Newcastle United’s Freddie Woodman: Should Lennon Look To Sign Him Up? 

The English goalkeeper’s career has been headed in the right direction for a while now, and his loan spell at Swansea last season may have been the final step towards him becoming a regular first-team keeper. Despite this though, it has been established that it’s highly unlikely he’ll be able to challenge Dubravka and Darlow for the starting role at Tyneside. A switch to Celtic would not only be a smart move with the player’s career in mind but would also relieve some of the pressure off the shoulders of Neil Lennon. The Hoops’ search for a stopper has been no secret, and if they’re able to bring in Woodman this summer, it would have to be considered quite the piece of business by the Glasgow club.

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