Freddie Woodman has signed for Preston as he called time on his pursuit of first-team football at Newcastle United.
North End confirmed Woodman’s arrival on Tuesday evening as the goalkeeper signed a three-year deal at Deepdale.
Woodman becomes Preston’s first signing of the summer and a major signal of intent.
A proven Championship goalkeeper from his two years on loan at Swansea City, Woodman is exactly what Preston needed.
Woodman is now 25 and after a host of loan spells away from Newcastle, he has decided it’s time for something new.
Bringing an end to his Newcastle dream won’t have been easy for Woodman but it’s a decision he simply had to take.
Woodman joined Newcastle as a teenager way back in 2013 but only ever played four league games for the Magpies.
There were regular claims of Newcastle’s belief that Woodman would be a first-team star at St James’ Park.
The Chronicle noted that Rafael Benitez personally told Woodman that he would be the future of Newcastle.
That’s something Shay Given – a man who knows a thing or two about being Newcastle goalkeeper – also said.
‘The future of Newcastle’ is a lovely tag for any young Magpie, but what if that future never comes?
Woodman has been stuck behind Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow at Newcastle, leading to that two-year spell at Swansea.
Woodman could barely have done much more to push forward his case for first-team action at Newcastle.
Yet with the Magpies ultimately struggling under Steve Bruce, there was never a great time for the shot-stopper to be given a chance; experience was the order of the day for Bruce and co.
You could hardly blame Woodman for being a little disillusioned, even more so after a January loan move to Bournemouth resulted in no league starts.
Caught in the shuffle at Newcastle and living off loans, Woodman knew that the time was right to forget about those predictions from Benitez and Given in order to forge a career elsewhere.
Preston have managed to pounce in a hugely exciting deal, adding the 2020-21 Championship Golden Glove winner until 2025.
That’s hugely exciting for North End fans, and Woodman will be desperate to show that Benitez and Given were right about him all along; only this time, he will be the future of Preston rather than Newcastle.