Freddie Woodman says he wants “minutes on the grass” in the second half of the season – and he’ll be happy to go on loan if Newcastle decide that is the route he should take.
Woodman made his United debut on Saturday, deputising for Karl Darlow for the visit of Luton Town and despite a few nervy moments it was a good milestone for a player with big ambitions and the talent to take him there.
A World Cup winner with England at under-20 level, he is desperate to make the step up and is likely to play again in the next round of the Cup as Rafa Benitez continues to manage one of the club’s brightest prospects carefully.
Ideally he would like to loan Woodman out but that will depend on whether the club manage to land the senior goalkeeper reinforcement Benitez is looking for. If he does, Woodman would be free to join another club for the second half of the season. There has been plenty of interest from League One and the Championship, as well as the SPL.
He told NUFC TV: “I want to play football. I’m trying to get minutes on the grass. If that’s it, I’m delighted; if it’s in the next round, I’m buzzing.
“If its somewhere else on loan or anything like that, I’m willing to do that. I just want to play football and keep improving.”
His debut is a big moment for a player whose professionalism and ability have impressed those in-the-know at St James’ Park. Woodman is already in the England under-21 squad, having won the Golden Gloves in England’s World Cup triump in the summer.
He said: “It was totally different from the World Cup. I had so many messages, so many people supporting me from a long time ago since I came to the club, and I felt like I was playing with them.
“Just playing in front of a massive crowd and the first time playing in front of St James’ - it was nearly full. It’s a loud place and you can feel the nerves before the game, so I’ll take that with me.
“Just playing for Newcastle, it’s a dream come true. Since I came to this club, it’s what I’ve wanted to do, so finally that’s done and dusted.”