Why Iker Casillas Would Be A Brilliant Signing For Newcastle United
Rafael Benitez has just about completed his Christmas list and on it appears like there is former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas on the list.
The Spaniard has been tracking experienced ‘keepers since the summer transfer window and it seems like he is still adamant that an older head is needed between the sticks right now.
Karl Darlow has been recalled to the starting XI recently and, as well as drawing praise in the Championship last season from none other than Iker Casillas, he was called a “brilliant goalkeeper” by Eden Hazard after his performance at Stamford Bridge at the weekend. That’s some praise coming from one of the top five players in the world.
Although some media outlets claim Benitez’s motivation is to simply increase competition between the goalkeepers, I believe the real reason revolves around Freddie Woodman.
Woodman has been earmarked not just by Newcastle but by England as well, as a future first choice ‘keeper, but Rafa does not think it’s time yet to make him Newcastle’s no.1 and that is fully acceptable. With that in mind, Newcastle need a goalkeeper who is capable of taking the top spot but will not want to hang around forever and that’s where the likes of 35-year-old Reina and 36-year-old Casillas come in.
According to some accounts, Woodman has been informed by the FA that they need to see him in regular first-team action in order to play him in the England under-21’s and so it seems like Benitez will allow him to go out on loan in January.
That would be perfect for the player but that would leave Newcastle with two first-team ‘keepers to call on and so a third is definitely needed.
A headline in Portuguese publication Jornal de Noticias (h/t Chronicle Live) read Casillas is reportedly on Newcastle’s radar. He has six months left on his contract with FC Porto, though the Real legend currently earns something close to £5million a year.
Signing Casillas may then depend on the Amanda Staveley and PCP takeover bid, with the new owners perhaps more inclined to pay bigger salaries for the right quality of players.
Arsenal, Brighton, Burnley, Liverpool and West Ham have all also been credited with an interest in the Spanish international so competition may be intense should he feel like having a few months in the English Premier League.
Given the situation with Woodman, Casillas would be a tremendous signing and unlike a lot of outfield players, he is still showing himself to be a top-class player, just the type Benitez has been itching to bring to the club.