In football, back up goalkeepers are viewed as a necessity in the sense that you need one in your squad, but generally they’re not someone who teams bend over backwards to keep around.
As ever, though, Newcastle United have attempted to zig while everyone else zags, as they did this summer when Championship heavyweights Leeds United came calling for number two shot-stopper Karl Darlow.
Darlow is now in the final year of his £25,000-per-week contract at St James’ Park [Source: Spotrac], and so the club look set to lose him for nothing when that deal expires at the end of the season, even though they could have secured an actual fee from the Whites.
The Newcastle hierarchy were all surely aware of those details, which goes to show you how inept managing director Lee Charnley really is. We know he’s the one who makes all the big decisions in terms of incomings and outgoings, and so the blame must be laid at his door, here.
Darlow was on Tyneside for the entirety of the last campaign, but made just one appearance in all competitions [Source: Transfermarkt].
However highly the Magpies decision-makers think of the 28-year-old, is it really worth losing millions for a man who played just once last time out?
Yet that is what Newcastle are preparing to do. Never mind that they also had quality young ‘keeper Freddie Woodman ready to slot into the number two role before his loan move to Swansea City was sorted.
This was simply a nonsensical decision on so many levels, and the north east giants are now set to pay a sizeable financial penalty for it.