There was a possibility Freddie Woodman could have left on loan on Deadline Day to facilitate an incoming, The Athletic’s Chris Waugh has revealed.
Newcastle have taken the ‘unusual’ step of naming four goalkeepers in their 25-man Premier League squad, with Woodman joined by Martin Dubravka, Karl Darlow and Mark Gillespie.
Steve Bruce has had to call upon Woodman after Dubravka sustained a foot injury at the European Championships and Darlow was hospitalised with coronavirus (via The Athletic).
Waugh reports that ‘privately, few at St James’ Park’ genuinely believed they would ever end up taking the ‘damaging’ step of naming four ‘keepers.
And the perceived necessity of doing so ‘affected transfer business’.
Bruce was weighing up the decision until the end of the transfer window, with the 60-year-old keen to sign Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury on loan.
But allowing Woodman to leave and placing trust in Gillespie was ultimately deemed too risky.
You do have some sympathy for Newcastle here. It’s bad enough having your first choice ‘keeper injured, but for your back-up to fall ill at the same time is woefully unlucky.
It might be said that Bruce should simply have backed Gillespie in the hope of bringing a much-needed reinforcement further up the pitch, but how many managers would truly trust a ‘keeper who is effectively the fourth best on the club’s books?
Bruce’s reign on Tyneside has been far from perfect, but it feels his hands were tied by almost impossible circumstances on this occasion.
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