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Freddie Woodman falls short of 'ultimate' Newcastle goal after joining Preston

Freddie Woodman has sadly failed to achieve his ‘ultimate goal’ at Newcastle United after his departure was confirmed.

The goalkeeper completed a move to Preston North End on Tuesday, joining the Championship side on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Woodman became a Magpie back in 2013 when he was just a teenager, but leaves at the age of 25 with nine senior appearances to his name. He made his debut in 2018 in an FA Cup win over Luton at the age of just 20.

He played for six different clubs on loan away from Newcastle. The stopper went to Hartlepool, Crawley, Kilmarnock, Aberdeen, Swansea and Bournemouth.

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All of those moves were made to advance his career, but now he is taking his talents to Lancashire. He leaves with a reputation of being an excellent Championship goalkeeper, but failed to establish himself as the number one at St James’ Park.

That will disappoint him given what he told NUFC TV in 2020.

What Freddie Woodman said about his Newcastle future two years ago

He signed a new contract with Newcastle two years ago, after excelling on loan at Swansea. He did so well in Wales that they took him back for another year.

In between his loan spells, Woodman spoke to Newcastle’s official website and outlined his vision for the future.

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“It’s great news for me,” he said.

“I can look towards the future and see myself as a Newcastle player. It’s great for the club to commit to me and I can stay there another three years, which is huge.

“I see myself as a Newcastle player and my ultimate goal is to be the Newcastle number one, so hopefully I can do that.”

Woodman won’t be achieving his ‘ultimate goal’

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Two years after stating his ambition to become Newcastle’s number one, Woodman has been sold. His ‘ultimate goal’ won’t be realised any time soon.

Of course, there is always the possibility that he impresses for Preston and the Magpies re-sign him further down the line. You never know what could happen.

But Woodman will be left wondering what might have been for him and Newcastle. He started the 2021/22 season as the club’s first choice keeper, with Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow ruled out.

It wasn’t a great start to life as a Premier League goalkeeper, but he was hardly aided by the defence in front of him.

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Had Woodman excelled himself at the start of last season, he could have established himself as the club’s true number one. We might not be talking about Nick Pope joining the club if that had happened.

But becoming Newcastle’s number one always felt like a bridge too far for Woodman. The timing was never right, and his decision to go and play somewhere else is the correct one.

He hasn’t achieved his ‘ultimate’ Newcastle goal, but so what? He played for the club in the Premier League at a young age, and still has a very long career ahead of him.

He may not be Newcastle’s number one, but don’t be surprised if Woodman returns to the top flight in the future. He might end up proving us all wrong.

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