Freddie Woodman will reportedly be dropped for Newcastle’s Friday night clash with Leeds United.
That’s according to Tuesday’s Daily Mirror (pg51), who claim that Steve Bruce is set to recall Karl Darlow to the starting XI.
Woodman has started all five of Newcastle’s games in all competitions this season, but things haven’t gone to plan.
So far, the youngster has conceded 12 goals. He’s kept one clean sheet, but was then unable to save Newcastle in the penalty shootout defeat to Burnley in the League Cup.
While it’s been a tough baptism of fire, it’s hard to criticise Woodman on the whole.
In our first three Premier League games, he received next to no protection. You couldn’t blame him for any of the goals conceded.
However, things changed against Manchester United. The 24-year-old should have done better for both of Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals.
Woodman was incredibly mature after the game, admitting on social media that he wasn’t good enough at Old Trafford.
Sadly for him, it looks like it will be his last start for Newcastle for the foreseeable future.
Karl Darlow to replace Freddie Woodman
Karl Darlow is yet to feature this season after suffering from COVID. The 30-year-old was hospitalised during pre-season, but is finally set to return.
Darlow was incredible at times last season, as he took the place of the injured Martin Dubravka. There were even calls for him to make the England squad.
His return from illness is a welcome one, at a time when we need a lift from somewhere.
While Bruce’s reported decision is somewhat harsh on Woodman, it is probably the right one. Darlow is much more experienced, and proved how good he is last season.
However, Darlow’s sharp return after the transfer window closing begs the question ‘why didn’t we just loan Woodman out?’.
It was great to see Woodman get a chance in the first-team, but it looks like that chance is over. Now he’ll be sat on the bench until Dubravka returns from injury. That’s not going to help his development, while being dropped could severely dent his confidence.
Woodman needs first-team football, and should be getting it in the Championship right now. He was all set to join Bournemouth before the deal was called off.
Now the goalkeeper is going to be in a state of limbo, sitting on his hands and waiting until January when he’s hopefully allowed to leave.
This is not the way to handle the development of a future Newcastle number one.