Former Newcastle United player and coach Lee Clark has said that young goalkeeper Freddie Woodman deserves a shot at the first team after sub-par performances from the other shot stoppers.
The Magpies have seen manager Rafael Benitez chopping and changing his side from top to bottom this season, with Rob Elliot, who started the club’s opening 13 games, benched by the Spaniard after failing to impress.
In stepped former Nottingham Forest keeper Karl Darlow, but found himself axed after just four games following a series of uninspiring displays, including a crucial error which handed Everton a 1-0 victory last week.
Elliot stepped back into the fray for the 1-0 loss to Arsenal on Saturday, but Clark says it is time Benitez hands 20-year-old shot stopper Freddie Woodman a chance in the senior side’s starting XI, blasting the performances of his counterparts between the sticks.
Now Bury manager, Clark admitted that he had tried to sign the 20-year-old on loan, and told the Chronicle: “I’ve worked with him before, and the age and experience thing for me is nonsense.
“Unfortunately the keepers who have had an opportunity this season aren’t producing the level of performance required.
“While he is here, give him his chance. He’s got the mentality and got the focus and he can handle the situation. He’s a fantastic keeper.
“He will only get experience if he plays. My personal opinion is that he is ready.”
Woodman is yet to make his first team debut for the Magpies, having risen through the youth ranks at St James’ Park, but was a World Cup hero for England’s under-20 side over the summer, saving a penalty in the final and picking up the golden glove award for best goalkeeper.
In other Newcastle United news, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was full of praise for one Magpies figure after their clash.