Newcastle find themselves in an intriguing position heading into the January window as they are 19th in the Premier League and recently flush with cash.
The Magpies are yet to win a match in the division, but have recently been taken over by Saudi Arabian consortium PIF and could have a sizable transfer warchest to play with in the window.
In order to help comply with FFP rules, Newcastle could look to sell on some of their assets in order to offset some of the money they want to spend on incoming to bolster the squad, which could leave a few players facing the chop.
One player who could be cashed in on is young goalkeeper Freddie Woodman. The club have played a blinder with the 24-year-old in recent years and he is now in a position where he could potentially earn the side a healthy payday should a team come in for him.
Two years ago, Woodman was 22 and Transfermarkt valued him at a measly £450k. This was after short loan spells with Aberdeen, Crawley and Kilmarnock, where he made a combined 35 senior appearances. His lack of minutes and lowly value by the age of 22 suggested, at the time, that he may not have a future towards the top end of the game, but this is where Newcastle stepped in and played a blinder.
Ex-Kilmarnock boss Lee Clarke previously lauded the gem as an ‘oustanding’ goalkeeper and outlined his key attributes between the sticks.
He told The Athletic: “I knew he was an outstanding young keeper and had all the attributes. The tough thing was I had an experienced goalkeeper in Jamie MacDonald in the team — that was causing one or two issues in terms of what I wanted to do.
“But I knew I was bringing a talented goalkeeper in. Freddie’s communication, his shot-stopping and his distribution skills are second to none. He’s an unbelievable professional and works extremely hard at his game.”
They decided to send him out on loan to Swansea in the Championship for the 2019/20 campaign and he kept 12 clean sheets in 43 games for the club. By April of that season, his value on Transfermarkt rose to £2.88m – a marked improvement from the previous year.
However, the real masterstroke by the Magpies came that summer.
Instead of sending him off to another team or giving him a chance in the first-team, they allowed him to re-join Swansea on loan and his numbers shot up – with 20 clean sheets in 45 appearances for the Swans in the Championship. He also kept one clean sheet in three play-off outings, taking his total to 21 shutouts in 48 matches that term.
This is a sensational 1900% increase from his valuation in 2019 and shows how well Newcastle have played his situation over the past two years. They have handled his development brilliantly and now it could earn them multi-millions if they decide to cash in on him in January.