Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has insisted that goalkeeper Freddie Woodman is 'happy' at the club following his recent stint as the side's back-up to Martin Dubravka.
The 21-year-old has made just one senior appearance for the Magpies, which came in an FA Cup third round tie against Luton Town in January 2018, resulting in the keeper leaving St. James' Park in recent seasons in search of minutes with loan spells at the likes of Aberdeen and Kilmarnock.
Woodman, however, has been on the bench for each of Newcastle's last seven games in the Premier League thanks to an injury to Karl Darlow, with Benitez claiming the Under-20 World Cup winner is providing good competition for the goalkeeping position in training.
As quoted by the Shields Gazette, Benitez said: "He’s doing really well. “He’s happy because now he’s No 2 and is training well. He has a great future.
"Young keepers want to play, but he knows now he has an opportunity to be there. He’s pushing Darlow really hard. Because he’s not fit, ask me in a few weeks [if Darlow is still number two]."
Newcastle face Blackburn in the third round of the FA Cup at the turn of the year, which could result in Woodman making his second appearance for the club, should Benitez wish to rotate his squad.
Before then, the north east side have two Premier League games to contend with, as they play Watford in their final fixture of 2018, before kicking off 2019 with a home game against a rejuvenated Manchester United.