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Freddie Woodman shows he has what it takes to become number one for Newcastle United 

Freddie Woodman made his Premier League debut against West Ham United
Freddie Woodman made his Premier League debut against West Ham United
Aaron Gales
ANALYST

After two outstanding seasons at Swansea City, Freddie Woodman was on the verge of sealing a third loan deal in a row when fate intervened.

With his path to the first team at Newcastle United blocked by Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow, Woodman was set to sign for Scott Parker's Bournemouth and spend another season gaining valuable experience in the Championship.

But the lucky break Freddie Woodman needed to finally get his opportunity in the Premier League was about to come. First came the news that Newcastle's first-choice goalkeeper Martin Dubravka would be sidelined for a number of weeks due to a foot injury.

Newcastle United's number two goalkeeper Karl Darlow was then diagnosed with Covid-19, spending nearly a week in hospital with the virus, which has understandably left him with a long recovery to get back to full fitness.

In the space of weeks, Woodman has gone from being on his way out of the club once again to a chance to establish himself in the Premier League.

The opportunity has been a long time coming for the talented 24-year-old who joined Newcastle United in 2014. Since then he has been restricted to occasional appearances in cup competitions while also enjoying productive loan spells with Crawley Town, Kilmarnock, Aberdeen and Swansea City.

During this time, Freddie Woodman was also carving himself quite a reputation on the international stage, making 56 appearances for England's youth sides and winning the UEFA European Under 17s title in 2014, the FIFA Under 20 World Cup in 2017 and the Toulon Tournament in 2018. He won the Golden Glove at the latter two tournaments.

Freddie Woodman impressed on his Premier League debut

Freddie Woodman made his Premier League debut for the club in front of over 50,000 fans at St James' Park against West Ham United last week. While there were understandably some nervy moments, Woodman displayed the obvious talent that has marked him out as one of England's most promising goalkeepers.

Despite conceding four goals, Freddie Woodman could do little about any of them and made an outstanding save in the first half to deny Jarrod Bowen. He also made a very impressive penalty save from Michail Antonio, only for the Newcastle defense to switch off and allow Tomas Soucek to score from the rebound.

Woodman also looked very comfortable with the ball at his feet and wasn't afraid to communicate with the players in front of him. He made his frustration known with his defenders after their failure to deal with the rebound from his penalty save.

At 24 years of age, Freddie Woodman should represent the long-term future as goalkeeper for Newcastle United and he now has a fantastic opportunity to give Steve Bruce a tough decision to make once Dubravka and Darlow return to full fitness.

If Freddie Woodman can maintain his place in the side then he may also have a place in Gareth Southgate's England squad within his grasp.

Edited by Prem Deshpande
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