Newcastle United youngster Freddie Woodman has long railed against his lack of opportunities at St James’ Park and has been eager to prove himself.
He made his debut for the club back in the 2017/18 season in the FA Cup and made a further three appearances in the competition last campaign, but legitimate chances have been few and far between for the academy product.
That could change this summer, though, if first choice goalkeeper Martin Dubravka leaves the club. The Sun reported on Tuesday that the Slovakian is one of a number of Magpies players open to offers to leave after manager Rafael Benitez’s departure was confirmed on Monday.
While losing your first choice ‘keeper obviously is never a good thing, it could finally open the door for Woodman to make his long-awaited impact in the Newcastle first team.
Dubravka has been an excellent servant to the club, but he’s not been immune to mistakes. The 30-year-old made a number of clangers in quick succession around January/February time, so he’s not impervious and he’s not imperious in his status as the team’s number one.
For Woodman, perhaps Benitez leaving is something that actually opens the door for him to make more of an impression in the first team. It’s thought that the Spaniard always rated the 22-year-old, yet he never truly gave him a run in the side. Maybe a new manager would.
If Dubravka does get his wish and leaves St James’ Park then the temptation will obviously be to replace him with a senior shot-stopper. However, it would behoove the new man in charge to give the highly-rated academy prospect a chance to claim the number one shirt in pre season.