Newcastle United were probably hoping that Freddie Woodman would return from his half-season loan spell at Kilmarnock with more experience in the bank and the hunger to challenge for a place in Rafael Benitez’s squad.
However, as reported by the Daily Record, the home-grown goalkeeper has got the taste of regular first-team football and he has little desire to return to the reserves next season.
The 20-year-old had only played twelve senior games, all on loan at Crawley Town last season, before joining Kilmarnock in January. However, after somewhat controversially ousting fans favourite Jamie MacDonald from the starting XI, Woodman has not looked back.
The England Under-21 international has been nothing short of a revelation thus far, his superb reaction save in the weekend’s 2-0 win at Hamilton showing just why he’s so highly-rated at St James Park.
Though it’s far from certain that he will return to Newcastle. After all, only a few years ago, another young Magpie was rewarded for swapping St James’ for Scotland.
“I look at Fraser Forster’s situation. He left Newcastle, went to Celtic and now he’s back in the Premier League,” Woodman told the Daily Record. “He’s a great example.
“People can get caught up in thinking they are safe at the club but I have to be realistic and be in the present.
“So it’s crossed my mind. I can’t lie. I have thought about coming back to Scotland and Kilmarnock.”
After failing to make a single first-team appearance for Newcastle, Forster joined Celtic permanently in 2012 after two previous loan spells. Five years on, he continues to impress for Southampton while also earning six caps for England.
His situation is undoubtedly similar to Woodman’s in that, to get senior experience under his belt, he had to leave. And with Tim Krul, Karl Darlow and Rob Elliot ahead of him in the pecking order at Newcastle, Woodman could do worse than to follow Forster’s example.