According to a recent report from The Daily Mirror, Celtic are one of many sides interested in a move for goalkeeper Freddie Woodman. The 21-year-old currently plays his football at Premier League outfit Newcastle United and has done so since moving to the academy back in 2013, although he is some way down Rafa Benitez’s pecking order to thus call his immediate future at the club into question.
And reports suggest that Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic are interested in a move for the Englishman, and while they should absolutely be on the lookout for a new goalkeeper, Burnley’s Tom Heaton is the one they should target come the New Year.
Ultimately, it does appear as though 21-year-old Woodman has a very bright future in the game, what with the shot-stopper playing a key part in England’s Under-20 World Cup winning campaign back in 2017, which included him saving a penalty in their 1-0 final victory over Venezuela.
But with just one senior appearance to show for his endeavours at St James’ Park, he is certainly lacking that big-match experience at club level, and going to a huge club with huge expectations like Celtic would be an almighty step up – and perhaps too big a step at this stage of his career.
And if Rodgers is eyeing up a goalkeeper that can hit the ground running straight away and challenge Craig Gordon for the number one spot, Burnley’s Heaton is his man.
Like Woodman, Heaton is some way down the pecking order at his club given the form of Nick Pope last season and Joe Hart’s efforts this term, to the point that the former earned a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for last summer’s World Cup – a place that, 12 months earlier, looked almost certain to be Heaton’s.
However, a serious injury at the start of last season has completely knocked the 32-year-old back after a stellar few years for Sean Dyche’s men, with the three-times England international arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League in the 2016/17 campaign.
And that shouldn’t be overlooked by the Celtic hierarchy if they are indeed looking for a replacement for Gordon, who will turn 36 next month – yes, Heaton is much older than Woodman, but he has the experience under his belt to go straight into the Bhoys side and produce the goods, whereas Woodman remains an unknown in such situation.
As such, while Woodman could be the star of the future, Rodgers must forget about a move for the Newcastle man, with Heaton the Englishman he should target come the New Year.
Celtic fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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