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Arsenal Opinion: Gunners should sign Freddie Woodman as Petr Cech replacement

According to a recent report from the Sun, Arsenal are lining up a move for Newcastle United shot-stopper Freddie Woodman in the summer as a potential replacement for the legendary Petr Cech who is set to hang up his boots at the end of the season.

Woodman is set to head for the exit door at Tyneside come the end of the season after playing second fiddle to No.1 Martin Dubravka and Arsenal are likely to have an upper hand in this deal. After all, the goalkeeper’s father is working as Head of Arsenal’s Academy Goalkeeping and the U23 goalkeeping coach. (h/t The Sun)

The Gunners, however, will face competition for the lanky shot-stopper if he decides to move on at the end of the season, with Everton and Celtic also expressing their interest in the Englishman. (h/t Sun)

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The 22-year-old promising shot-stopper has featured only thrice this season for the Magpies, with all his appearances coming in the FA Cup.

A youth product of Newcastle, Woodman has spent time on loan at lower league clubs Hartlepool and Crawley Town, as well as  Kilmarnock and Aberdeen in Scotland. He is yet to make his bow in the Premier League but the youngster boasts of an eye-catching record for England at the youth level.

He has won a total of 56 caps for the Three Lions all youth levels comprised upto U21, helping his nation to victories in the 2014 UEFA U17 European Championship, 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup and the Toulon Tournament last year. Woodman won the Golden Glove award at the 2017 U20 FIFA World Cup, an achievement that speaks volumes of his massive potential as a goalkeeper.

To put things into perspective, Arsenal certainly need to bolster their options between the sticks in the summer to cover for the departure of Cech.

The former Chelsea man has largely been used as an understudy to Bernd Leno by manager Unai Emery but his retirement would be a big blow to squad depth both in terms of quality and experience.

The Gunners would have Emiliano Martinez available at their disposal when his loan spell at Reading comes to an end but he is unlikely to be seen as someone who would push Leno for a first-team spot.

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In other words, Arsenal need to bring in someone to provide cover and competition for Leno, and while another experienced shot-stopper would be a safer option for the Gunners, young and promising Freddie Woodman also fits the bill.

The 6ft. 2-inch goalkeeping prodigy is still untested at the highest level but he has the necessary skill set to make the step up gradually.

Imagining Woodman in Arsenal’s starting eleven in the Premier League next season would be a bit too optimistic but Emery might trust him to take on the gloves in some of the domestic cup games, provided he manages to impress the manager during the pre-season tours.

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Woodman is quick, athletic and very agile between the sticks, whilst also boasting of razor-sharp reflexes, good ball handling ability and a level of composure and maturity that belie his tender years.

He has all the attributes to develop into a successful Premier League shot-stopper and Arsenal would strike gold by getting him on board ahead of the upcoming season.

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