Why Newcastle's Freddie Woodman IS ready to play Premier League football
'‹Freddie Woodman's ready to step up to the Premier League, according to Steve Harper.
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez lost goalkeeper Rob Elliot to a season-ending knee injury this week.
And Benitez, also without No 1 Tim Krul, will field Karl Darlow in goal against Norwich City on Saturday.
Woodman, 19, will be on the bench at Carrow Road.
However, Sunderland goalkeeper Harper – who spent two decades at St James's Park and trained alongside Woodman – feels the England Under-19 international is a serious option for Benitez, despite his lack of experience.
"Darlow's played a lot more league action than Freddie, but Freddie's got a big, big future," Harper told Talksport.
"He's done very well and has a fantastic attitude, really driven, works his socks off.
"It's a big call. People would assume he'd go with Darlow given his experience, but Freddie could handle it, believe me.
"He is destined for a big future. Whether you throw him in at this time of the season ... that's not my decision."
Woodman – who was recalled from a loan spell at Crawley Town after Krul suffered a season-ending knee injury in October – helped England's Under-19s qualify for the European Championships this week.