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Freddie Woodman 'wanted a new challenge' as Newcastle exit is confirmed

Freddie Woodman’s time as a Newcastle United player is over.

He began the 2021/22 Premier League season in the Magpies’ starting XI. Now he’s left the club permanently.

The goalkeeper’s move to Preston North End was confirmed on Tuesday evening. He’s signed a three-year deal with the Lilywhites for an undisclosed fee.

Woodman becomes the first player to leave St James’ Park for a fee this summer. Isaac Hayden has departed on loan, while Lewis Cass signed for Port Vale on a free despite being offered a Newcastle contract.

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There will likely be more players following Woodman out the door at St James’ Park, as Eddie Howe continues to revamp his squad ahead of the new season.

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Following the announcement, Preston boss Ryan Lowe has spoke about signing Woodman.

“We were aware Freddie wanted a new challenge and I’m really pleased we’ve got it done,” he said.

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“We’ve beaten off some competition for Freddie as he’s seen what we’re trying to build here at Preston North End.

“His attributes are playing out from the back and his goal saving of course, so he’ll be a top player for us and we’re really excited to start working with him.”

Newcastle exit the right thing for Woodman

While Woodman departs, Newcastle are on the brink of signing another goalkeeper.

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The Magpies are reportedly close to signing Nick Pope from Burnley, which would have pushed Woodman even further down the pecking order. He would have become the Magpies’ fourth choice stopper.

That’s no good for a man of his ability, and he was right to seek a move away.

It’s interesting to read Lowe mentioned that Woodman ‘wanted a new challenge’. That suggests it was his decision to leave rather than the club forcing him out.

Either way, it’s the right decision. Woodman just wasn’t going to get the football he needed at St James’ Park.

It’s a surprise to see him leave permanently, but it’s probably the best thing for his career.

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Woodman has proven in the past that he can be a real success in the Championship, thriving at Swansea in years gone by. He also achieved promotion with Bournemouth last season, despite spending most of his time on the bench.

But while the Cherries and Newcastle face off in the Premier League, Woodman will be bracing himself for another season in the second tier. However, this time he’ll be in a settled environment where he doesn’t need to worry about what’s going on at his parent club.

Woodman joined Newcastle in 2013, and leaves nine years later with nine first-team appearances to his name.

Good luck, Freddie!

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