Recent Newcastle arrival Karl Darlow has made it clear that although he is delighted to be set to compete in the Premier League, he is eager to claim Tim Krul's number one jersey for his own, in an interview with the Northern Echo.
The 24-year-old is finally available to the Magpies after he and Jamaal Lascelles were signed last summer, and then allowed to remain on loan at former club Nottingham Forest for the entire season.
Darlow had a productive campaign, accumulating another healthy number of appearances at the City Ground, but now the stopper is ready to make the step up.
“I’m pretty much here to compete with Tim,” Darlow is quoted as saying in the Echo. “Competition for places is obviously healthy.
“For me, I want to play, so I’m going to be pushing myself to see the best I can do and obviously Tim will want to keep the number one jersey, which I’m here to push for. Hopefully, it will spur him on and improve him and it will do the same for me.”
Though Darlow sees Krul as competition, he as admitted that he looks up to the Netherlands international, who has welcomed his young rival.
“He’s (Krul) been very welcoming,” he said. “We’ve had good chats about goalkeeping and our summer holidays.
“I can learn a lot from him – he’s an international and he’s played a lot of games in the Premier League."
Darlow may well feel that a dip in form by the Dutchman means he is coming to St James's Park with a better chance of first team football than if he would have arrived last summer.
Newcastle went on a terrible run at the end of last season that almost saw them relegated, and Krul did little to cover himself in glory as the club lost match after match.
With Rob Elliott also in the goalkeeping ranks at the Magpies, it will be telling to see who Steve McClaren picks for the bench in the club's opening Premier League fixture, given that he will have managed Darlow as a youngster during his short spell at Forest.