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.

Thursday, 31st March 2016, 8:58 am
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2016, 9:01 am
Freddie Woodman

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.

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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.