Rafa Benitez explains Freddie Woodman’s situation at Newcastle

Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.
Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.

Freddie Woodman’s hopes of going out on loan hinge on Newcastle United’s search for another goalkeeper – and Rob Elliot’s fitness.

Woodman made his senior debut in Saturday’s 3-1 FA Cup win over Luton Town.

The 20-year-old overcame his nerves to help Newcastle book a place in the fourth round of the competition.

“I think he did well overall,” said manager Benitez.

“He started a little bit nervous with his feet, but after that he was fine.

“We didn’t help him much in the first half, because we were a little bit too open and a bit too exposed. But, overall, good. It’s positive he’s had this experience.

He’s a good keeper, and he made good saves, but I don’t like to see my keepers make too many saves. I would prefer not to see them at all.

Rafa Benitez

“He’s a good keeper, and he made good saves, but I don’t like to see my keepers make too many saves. I would prefer not to see them at all.”

Woodman had hoped to go out on loan for the season, but United’s failure to sign a goalkeeper last summer meant that he was needed on Tyneside as cover for Elliot and Karl Darlow.

The England Under-20 international could be loaned out in this month’s transfer window. However, for the moment Woodman is needed at United given that Elliot is sidelined with a thigh injury.

“He needs to enjoy this moment – we have won and he was part of it,” said Benitez. “After that, we’ll decide what’s best for him and the club.

“We have to manage both of those things. If we are going to do something with him, it will have to be this month, but Elliot’s injured and we’re working to try and find what we need, and after we will make a decision.”

Benitez will make a decision on Woodman later this month.

“It’s not difficult,” said Benitez. “It’s simple to take responsibility and do what you need to do.

“I was talking with his agent and they know the position. We have to wait and see if we can do something, but if not … it’s the same for every player.

“What we have to do is make sure what we do is best for the team and the club.”