So far this transfer window, Newcastle have been linked to several goalkeepers. Willy Caballero, Joe Hart, Kiko Casilla, and Pepe Reina have all been talked about joining the Magpies. But why?
Our current keepers:
Newcastle currently have 4 senior keepers (including those on loan). Matz Sels, Tim Krul, Karl Darlow, and Rob Elliot. All of them have their strengths and weaknesses.
Matz Sels last season had more cons than pros. He was very nervous and shaky when it came to stopping shots and was even worse when corners/crosses came into the box. This caused him to be dropped quite early on in the season.
Tim Krul 3 or 4 years ago was one of the best keepers in the league but has sadly declined. He’s a very quick shot-stopper with quick reflexes. However, his distribution is quite poor with most of his kick-outs end up wayward.
Karl Darlow last season played very, very well. Like Krul, his reflexes are top class and he’s a good penalty stopper (Nottingham Forest away). He does deserve to be in the first team but like Krul, his distribution is quite iffy.
Finally, we have Rob Elliot. Two seasons ago he picked up a bad injury on international duty that ruled him out for the rest of the season. Last season he spent most of the time with the under-23s but came into the first team for the last 3 matches. I think he’s the best keeper at the club and has a very long throw on him. But again he can’t really distribute short.
The modern Premier League
Nowadays most Premier League clubs utilize a high press system to squeeze the opposition. This means whenever the keeper kicks it long, attackers will be closed down and the other team will more than likely win the ball. Becuase of this, most teams play out of defence to avoid that. To play like that you need two things, a defender that can play the ball (which we have in Mbemba and Clark) and a goalkeeper that play out from the back. Now when you look at the goalkeepers at the club, none of them can really do that. That’s why I believe Rafa is searching for a new goalkeeper, to move with the changing game.
Feature image credit: Ben Sutherland