Newcastle have some decisions to make in the goalkeeping department, with the futures of both Karl Darlow and Freddie Woodman needing to be sorted out.
Woodman is excelling on loan at Championship side Swansea, while Darlow, currently number two to Martin Dubravka, is out of contract in the summer, and is free to talk to clubs in January.
While Woodman put pen to paper on a new deal at Newcastle before joining Swansea for the season, it was only a one-year extension, which means he will enter the final year of his deal again next summer.
His form has been so good, it will almost certainly have caught the eye of other Premier League managers, who will undoubtedly be monitoring his contract situation.
But there is one drastic way Newcastle could fend off any future interest – by selling Darlow in January, and recalling Woodman from Swansea, installing him as Dubravka’s deputy.
It is not something Swansea fans will want to hear, and their manager Steve Cooper does not anticipate it happening, having been asked questions over a potential mid-season Newcastle return for the stopper.
Cooper said: “There’s no inclination that they want him back, and we hope that stays like that.
“I’m pretty sure he’s of the same opinion aswell. There’s always recall options on loan players, there’s nothing out of the norm on that, particularly with goalkeepers.”
Woodman should be assured he is Newcastle’s future number one
It would make complete sense from Newcastle to bring him back, with them then able to pick up a fee for Darlow – who could leave for nothing in the summer – while showing faith in Woodman, assuring him he can be a number one in the future on Tyneside.
They should be drawing up a new deal for the England Under-21 keeper, making it one worthy of a player rated as highly as he is.
Woodman may be somewhat disappointed if he does have to swap first-team Championship football, for a role on the Newcastle bench, but it could be offset by a lucrative deal for him, with guarantees of his new status as number two goalkeeper at the club.
It would be the logical solution to both players’ contract situations, while Newcastle will be left with a pair of top class goalkeepers to rely on for the coming years.