‘The reality’ is that Freddie Woodman will leave Newcastle on loan once again next season, according to Chronicle Live journalist Lee Ryder.
The goalkeeper spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Swansea City, where he kept a league-high 21 clean sheets for Steve Cooper’s promotion chasers. The Swans reached the Championship play-off final, but it was heartbreak for Woodman and his team-mates as they were beaten 2-0 by Brentford at Wembley.
Nonetheless, Woodman was included in The Athletic‘s Championship team of the season in recognition of his starring role. Despite his ‘hugely impressive’ performances, though, the door to the Newcastle first team is seemingly shut given that the incumbent Martin Dubravka signed a six-year contract as recently as the 2019/20 season.
Ryder says that both Swansea and the player himself are ‘keen’ on a return next season, although Woodman – who is ‘attracting so much attention’ – may have his head turned.
His colleague Mark Douglas had urged the club to sanction a sale for a fee of £15m, provided the deal included ‘smart clauses’ such as first refusal on future transfers or a ‘hefty sell-on’. However, it seems a seventh temporary departure (after earlier spells at Hartlepool, Crawley, Kilmarnock and Aberdeen) is in the offing instead.
The likelihood of another loan for Woodman probably speaks to the weakness of the market right now, and it underlines the difficulties Newcastle may have in raising funds to boost a transfer budget which could be as meagre as £12m.
Still, a successful stint at Southampton or Celtic should only boost his price tag in time for next summer, while he remains fairly young and therefore could still attract a sizeable fee.
In other news, Newcastle are in pole position to land this forward.
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