In all honesty, it was no surprise to see Swansea bring Freddie Woodman back to the Liberty Stadium during the summer transfer window.
The young goalkeeper enjoyed an outstanding debut season between the post in Wales during the 2019/20 campaign, helping the club make an unlikely late charge into the Championship play-off places.
As a result, Woodman’s return to Swansea this season seemed a no-brainer, and it has once again paid off, with the 23-year-old playing all but one league game so far this season, to help Steve Cooper’s side to second in the current Championship standings.
Perhaps the only disappointment for Swansea therefore, is that as with last year, Woodman is only on loan at The Liberty from Newcastle.
Given the influence and impact Woodman has had during his time with Swansea so far, not to mention their lack of an alternative experienced and established goalkeeping option, you could certainly understand the Championship promotion-chasers wanting to secure a permanent deal for the 23-year-old eventually.
Admittedly, the fact that Woodman only signed a new contract with Newcastle until the end of the 2022/23 season – with the option to extend by a further 12 months – before re-joining Swansea last summer means that that is unlikely to be easy for the Welsh club to do.
However, looking closely at the situation at Newcastle, and it does seem as though Swansea could use the Magpies’ own raft of goalkeeping options to their advantage in any attempt they make to do that.
In Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow, Steve Bruce’s side have both a number one and backup goalkeeper who have proven on more than enough occasions that they are quite easily capable of holding their own in the Premier League.
Did Swansea sign each of these players for more or less than £1million?
Add to that the fact Mark Gillespie, signed following his departure from Motherwell during the summer, is also on the books at St James’, meaning that even with Woodman at Swansea, Bruce still has three goalkeepers to call upon.
With that in mind, it could certainly be argued that Woodman would be well down the pecking order at St James’ were he to return this summer, and that is something that would be unlikely to change anytime soon.
Both Dubravka and Darlow have contracts with the Magpies until the summer of 2025, while like Woodman, Gillespie’s deal at St James’ is set come to an end at the conclusion of the 2022/23 season.
A move back to Newcastle at the end of this season in the hope of first-team opportunities could therefore become a waiting game that never ends.
That is something that the ‘keeper himself, as well as Swansea and Newcastle are all likely to be aware of to some extent, and it is something the Championship promotion contenders must play on in an attempt to secure a permanent deal for Woodman, who must by now be confident that he would remain number one for the Swans were he to sign permanently, considering the opportunities they have given him, and the performances he has repaid them with.
For Newcastle, they can also be optimistic that Woodman, given his ability and contract situation, could fetch them a decent fee this summer, and given the options they have to cope with his departure, that may well be more appealing than seeing him sat on the sidelines or out on loan again for a couple more seasons until his deal expires.
It seems therefore, as though a permanent move away from Newcastle for Woodman this summer could certainly work out well for both parties, and if that is to happen, then Swansea’s recent connections with the goalkeeper mean they should feel confident of being in pole position to secure a deal.
That is something that they should surely look to take advantage of, because if the past season-and-a-half have shown anything, it’s that such an agreement would no doubt work rather well for them too.