According to Lee Ryder of The Chronicle, Newcastle United boss, Eddie Howe will look take a look at the club’s goalkeeping situation. At the start of the season, the Magpies were suffering a major keeper crisis. Both Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow were out at the start of the season.
January reshuffle means one of four keepers can be taken out
This meant when selecting the 25-man squad, both Freddie Woodman and Mark Gillespie were added. Overall there were four registered stoppers in the side.
Squads are allowed to be changed in January, meaning Howe will likely take one of the four out.
Who should stay and who should go?
Taking out one of the goalkeepers will open up a free slot for a potential new signing in January. With the way that Newcastle’s season is going, they are in desperate need of new faces.
Here’s a look at each keeper in the squad:
The Slovakian stopper has cemented himself as the no.1 for the Toon Army. Furthermore, he’s been hailed as the best goalkeeper they’ve had since Irish legend Shay Given. Dubravka has definitely gained Newcastle more points than cost them in his career on Tyneside.
Considering that since returning from injury Dubravka has pretty quickly worked his way back in between the sticks. The chances of him being cut from the squad do not seem likely at all. The 32-year-old has the best all-round game of all the keepers at the club, making it non-sensical to sell him.
Before the return of Dubravka he was taking the spot between the posts. Over the summer he had a really bad case of COVID. Meaning young Freddie Woodman played for the first few games of the season. For Darlow, he had the opportunity to keep Dubravka out but a big mistake against Brentford saw the Slovak replace him for the Arsenal game.
Having said that, Darlow is still a good option to have on the bench. Clearly, he is the second-best behind Dubravka and when needed to can fill in. The English keeper should definitely not be removed from the squad as he has a use for Newcastle as their second choice.
He made his Premier League debut this season when both Dubravaka and Darlow were out. Before this, it seemed Woodman would depart for Bournemouth on loan last summer. It was a tough few games for Woodman and from the performances so far, it seems he’s just not quite ready.
Perhaps come January it could be an opportunity for him to go back to the Championship for another loan spell. He absolutely impressed last season on loan at Swansea City, proving to be one of the best in the league. So you’d think a lot of clubs would happily take him on for the rest of the season.
In spite of the fact he’s not played a league match for the Magpies, the local boy was bought back in 2020 for a reason. The 29-year old stopper was brought in to occupy the third choice spot for Newcastle. All three appearances came in Carabao Cup fixtures against Blackburn, Morecambe and Newport County.
In spite of the fact that he has made minimal Newcastle appearances, Gillespie still plays a role. The Magpies have many keepers at the club which they look to loan out. Local lad Gillespie serves to be the third choice while the likes of Woodman and others are looked to be loaned out to other clubs. As a Toon fan growing up, Gillespie still lives his dream and can say he’s played for Newcastle United.
Loaning out Woodman frees benefits all parties
From assessing each goalkeeper in the 25-man-squad it appears fairly simple. With Woodman almost set to go to the Championship last summer, he should be allowed to finally do so in January. This time away could undoubtedly give the 24-year-old more experience could maybe help him push for a slot in the squad next season.
With Woodman loaned out and Dubravka, Darlow and Gillespie in the squad, this would greatly benefit Howe. Importantly, it opens up an important space which can be filled by a new arrival.