Thursday, June 30, 2022

Arsenal Eyeing A Move For This Newcastle United Custodian: Should Bruce Cash In On Him?

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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, The Chronicle has mentioned that Arsenal are eyeing a move for Newcastle United custodian Freddie Woodman, who is currently having a fruitful loan spell with Swansea City. It is understood that the Gunners are one of the clubs looking to sign the Magpies keeper when he returns from his loan spell with the Swans at the end of this season (via The Chronicle).

Woodman’s Productive Loan Spell At The Liberty Stadium This Season

Woodman has caught the eye for putting in a run of solid displays in goal for Swansea, which has helped them maintain their push to gain promotion back to the Premier League. The 23-year-old has conceded 24 goals and secured 17 clean sheets in 32 matches for the Welsh outfit this term in various competitions.

The London-born shot-stopper has done well to average 0.5 clearances and 6.3 long balls per game in the EFL Championship. However, his ball-distribution has left a lot to be desired as he has completed only 61.5% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

If Woodman can continue to perform at a high level in the remainder of this campaign, then Newcastle boss Steve Bruce should consider giving him a chance to stake a claim to be the first-choice keeper at St. James’ Park next season.

Arsenal eyeing a move for Newcastle United's Freddie Woodman who is seen in the picture
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 Are The English Goalkeeper’s Best Attributes?

Woodman boasts quick reflexes and can come to his team’s rescue by making some crucial saves at the back. Standing 1.88m, he is usually strong in the air and excels at coming out of his six-yard box to collect loose balls inside his penalty area.

The English custodian can also clear his lines when required but needs to be more accurate when passing the ball out from the back. At 23, Woodman still has a lot to learn before he is ready to taste Premier League football every week.

Should The Magpies Cash In On Woodman In The Summer?

Currently, the England Under-21 international is under contract at St. James’ Park until the summer of 2023, so Bruce has no immediate need to cash in on him at the end of this season. However, with Karl Darlow serving as the Tyneside club’s first-choice keeper this season and Martin Dubravka sitting as his back-up on the bench, it is difficult to see how Woodman would get a chance to play regular football unless Bruce decides to let one of his keepers leave this summer. Either way, Newcastle should consider keeping hold of Woodman for the long-run as he could develop into a future starter for them in the years to come.

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