Newcastle United new boy Karl Darlow will face some stiff competition for the number one shirt next season, however, could well have Eric Steele looking out for him.
The former Manchester United goalkeeping coach, who developed a close professional relationship with Steve McClaren during their time at Derby County, was Darlow’s goalkeeping coach at Aston Villa and recommended the youngster to Nottingham Forest in 2006.
It was at Forest that Darlow made his name, earning a move to Newcastle United in the process, and became an established number one goalkeeper.
McClaren clearly thinks highly of Steele’s judgment, and Steele clearly thinks highly of Darlow’s ability, so it could be a perfect storm for the 24-year-old to get plenty of first-team chances.
Can Darlow become Newcastle’s number one next season?
As it stands, Darlow would be fighting Dutch international Tim Krul for a starting place and it seems unlikely that it would be a battle he would win.
Nevertheless, with the Chronicle reporting that Crystal Palace are interested in Krul, it may not be a battle he has to win if the experienced goalkeeper decides that his future lies elsewhere.
Should Krul move on, the battle for the number one jersey will become straight forward, as long as another goalkeeper doesn’t come in, and Steele could advise McClaren over whether Darlow is the man for the job.