Thursday, June 30, 2022

On-Loan Newcastle United Keeper Is On Arsenal’s Radar: Should Bruce Sanction His Departure?

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Abhinab Ghosh
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.

In a recent report, Football.London has claimed that on-loan Newcastle United keeper Freddie Woodman is on Arsenal’s radar. It is believed that the English shot-stopper, who is currently playing on loan at Swansea City, is one of the names in Mikel Arteta’s transfer short-list which could make it difficult for the Magpies to keep hold of him for the long-run (via Football.London).

Woodman’s Impressive Loan Spell In The EFL Championship

The 23-year-old has enjoyed a fruitful loan spell with the Swans after establishing himself as one of the most important members of Steve Cooper’s first-team. Woodman has participated in 25 matches for the Welsh outfit this term, shipping in just 14 goals and picking up 15 clean sheets in the process across various competitions.

The English custodian is averaging 0.4 clearances and 6.0 long balls per game in the EFL Championship this season but has been sloppy with his ball-distribution as he has completed only 62.9% of his attempted passes in the English second division (stats via whoscored).

Woodman has played some of the best football of his young career during this campaign, so it is no wonder that a top club like Arsenal are keeping tabs on his progress in the Championship. However, the player is still under contract at Newcastle until the summer of 2023, so Steve Bruce will be under no immediate pressure to sell him this month or at the end of this campaign.

On-loan Newcastle keeper Freddie Woodman is on Arsenal's radar (Woodman is seen in the photo)
Freddie Woodman of Newcastle United celebrates his sides fourth goal during the FA Cup Third Round Replay match between Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United at Ewood Park on January 15, 2019, in Blackburn, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

What Does The English Goalkeeper Bring To The Table?

Woodman possesses quick reflexes which enables him to make some solid stops at the back. He has transformed himself into a decent shot-stopper in the EFL Championship this season and is usually quite good with his positioning inside his penalty box.

The London-born talent has often preferred to go long when passing the ball out from the back. Hence, he won’t have too many problems settling into Steve Bruce’s style of play at St. James’ Park upon his return from his loan spell with the Swans next summer.

Should The Magpies Sanction Woodman’s Departure?

Currently, Bruce should not consider cashing in on Woodman as his market value in European football could grow even further if the goalkeeper continues to perform at a high level in the second half of this campaign. Therefore, the Magpies would be wise to wait until the end of this campaign before deciding on Woodman’s future.

For now, Bruce has got Karl Darlow and Martin Dúbravka fighting for a regular starting spot at the Tyneside club. However, Woodman has shown signs of maturity during his loan stay at Wales, so he might return as a better version of himself and stake a claim for a first-team place in Bruce’s squad in the upcoming campaign. All in all, Newcastle should not sanction Woodman’s exit any time soon as he still might have a bright future under Bruce’s stewardship.

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