Newcastle United are going to have a new look goalkeeper setup for the Carabao Cup final this weekend, with Max Thompson set to travel with the squad.
Nick Pope’s red card against Liverpool means it is all change in the goalkeeper department. Eddie Howe is not going to have his first choice stopper available, nor will he have his second. That is because Martin Dubravka is cup-tied.
It leaves Howe with a choice to make. He can either start Loris Karius or Mark Gillespie, two players with barely any first-team experience in a Toon shirt.
Karius looks set to get the nod, as he prepares to make his Newcastle debut in the club’s biggest game in years. He will be backed up by Gillespie, with the local lad set to appear on the bench.
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But teams always take three stoppers to games in case of injury in the buildup, which has created an incredible opportunity for Thompson.
Max Thompson heading to Wembley with Newcastle
Newcastle are travelling to Wembley with three goalkeepers who have three senior Toon appearances between them.
Karius has never played a competitive game for the club, while Gillespie made three appearances in the Carabao Cup a couple of seasons ago under Steve Bruce.
As for Thompson, he has also never played for the first-team, which is unsurprising at the age of 18. It will be a family affair for the teenager, as he is the son of the club’s kitman Ray Thompson.
He has been with Newcastle for more than 30 years, and now he will be going to a cup final with his son in the matchday squad. The circumstances around it are unique, but that will be an incredibly proud moment for the Thompson family.
It is unlikely that Thompson will be in the team that Howe picks. The only chance he has of being named as a substitute is if one of Karius or Gillespie pick up a problem in the buildup to the game.
He will be on standby, and probably can’t believe that he is going to be part of Newcastle’s biggest game in recent history.