Why Arsenal should move for Freddie Woodman next summer
Newcastle were faced with the risk of losing Woodman for free at the end of the 2019-20 season but the 22-year-old agreed to extend his stay at St. James’ Park by a further twelve months until 2021 before heading out on loan to further his development at the Liberty Stadium.
Arsenal, Celtic, Fulham and Everton were all interested in securing the services of the England youth international back in the summer but he favoured a move to Swansea to gain first-team exposure in the Championship. (h/t Chronicle)
The recipient of the Golden Glove Award at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Woodman has long been regarded as one of the hottest emerging goalkeeping prospects across the nation, although he is yet to lay down a marker in the Premier League.
Woodman’s only appearance for Newcastle came way back in the 2016-17 season in an FA Cup tie against Luton Town and his loan spell at Swansea is the fifth of his tenure at Tyneside, having spent time on loan at Crawley Town, Hartlepool United, Kilmarnock and Aberdeen earlier in his career.
Much to the delight of the fans, the 22-year-old has made a stellar start to life in the Championship at Swansea City, starting each of the club’s first eight league fixtures and keeping four clean sheets in the process.
With his razor-sharp reflexes and reliable presence between the sticks, Woodman has been one of the key driving forces behind Swansea’s incredible start to the season, with the 22-year-old currently enjoying the fruits of Steve Cooper’s management along with a number of other youngsters like Bersant Celina and Joe Rodon.
Despite that, though, Woodman’s long-term future at Newcastle continues to be up in the air and, with Martin Dubravka expected to continue as the club’s undisputed No.1 between the sticks, it doesn’t look like he is going to get a look in from Steve Bruce.
Rob Elliott and Karl Darlow have found regular minutes hard to come by and Woodman, despite all his talent and potential, could be surplus to requirements at Tyneside, even with the aforementioned duo is out-of-contract next summer.
To put things into perspective, Arsenal should consider going back in the market for Freddie Woodman next summer in a bid to add more cover and competition to their options between the sticks.
Bernd Leno, of course, has done a fair job since his move to the Emirates last summer but the Gunners are somewhat light in that department following the retirement of Petr Cech.
Emiliano Martinez is currently the club’s designated goalkeeper for the club’s domestic cup games.
While the Argentine is a decent option for Unai Emery to call upon, it has to be noted that he has made only 16 appearances for the Gunners over the past decade since his move from Independiente in his homeland.
Woodman, on the contrary, looks more like the real deal and his arrival could ensure more quality competition for Leno between the sticks. The Croydon-born shot-stopper has massive potential and the Gunners can definitely look at him as someone who could be a wonderful long-term servant to the club.
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Hence, if the 22-year-old continues his rich vein of form in the Championship, Arsenal should definitely weigh up another swoop for him next summer, although they might have to pay a lot more to secure his services.