Why Willy Caballero Would Have Been A Good Signing For Newcastle
Willy Caballero has agreed terms now with Chelsea and looks set to become their new no.2 behind Thibaut Courtois. As it transpires, he was the subject of late interest from Newcastle United with boss Rafa Benitez apparently keen on the 35-year-old Argentinean. Man City’s in demand ‘keeper reportedly considered offers from a number of Premier League clubs, with Chelsea having won the race for his signature.
Manager Antonio Conte is rumoured to have named Caballero as his preferred second-choice after allowing Asmir Begovic to leave for Bournemouth. A few days ago it seemed that Chelsea were ready to confirm Cabellero as their first summer transfer breakthrough, however the Argentine stopper seems to have waited to consider offers from promoted sides Newcastle and Brighton as well.
Going to Chelsea may mean settling for virtually no first team football and, while it must be nice to be paid a fortune to sit on the bench, it doesn’t seem to fit with Caballero’s sporting ethics and so a no.1 spot elsewhere may yet be seen as what he should have gone for.
Reading between the lines, it looks as though Rafa believes he has more quantity than quality in the goalkeeping department. Tim Krul’s career has taken a dive, though he will return to Tyneside for pre-season training following his recent loan stints in the Netherlands.
Matz Sels started last season as no.1 but failed to impress, meaning ex-Nottingham Forest star Karl Darlow spent most of last season between the sticks. He was good in the main and became a fan favourite, but was quickly usurped once Rob Elliot regained full fitness.
Elliot himself may yet leave the club and the young Freddie Woodman has returned from his loan at Kilmarnock. His under-20 World Cup win with England must have him in great spirits but he lacks experience. There is not a lot to choose between all of these ‘keepers, which makes decisions harder for Rafa Benitez.
With all that in mind then, Rafa (quite rightly) clearly thinks that he doesn’t possibly have 5 top class goalkeepers at his disposal and so therefore none of them meet his high standards when it comes to being a no.1 in the Premier League. Willy Caballero on the other hand, is seen as good enough between the sticks at that level and Newcastle would have offered the experienced Argentine the chance to see out a full season as first choice.
However, Caballero now seems close to joining Chelsea instead and warm the benches. Newcastle and Caballero would have done themselves a great favour by joining hands with each other but unfortunately, that’s not the case here.