Despite suggestions that Newcastle will look to cash in on Karl Darlow this summer, Benitez has insisted that he “hopes” that the NUFC stopper has a future at the club.
Darlow was a prominent fixture of our promotion campaign last term, however did slip below Rob Elliot in the pecking order over the closing weeks of the Championship season.
It has then been suggested this summer that the 26-year old stopper could be sold, with Middlesbrough seeing a £5m bid rejected in recent weeks.
Since then however, interested parties Boro and Reading have signed new goalkeepers, with Darlow making his first appearance of pre-season against Preston on Saturday.
Benitez said the following when asked whether Darlow had a future on Tyneside, and also commented on his decision to give minutes to Elliot, Darlow and Woodman in our recent 1-1 draw with Preston:
“I hope so.”
“We have three keepers and we had to give them some time so we couldn’t leave one person on the bench because after one week I think they all needed to play,”
Darlow is a capable goalkeeper with time on his side, so I do see the reluctance to sell him.
I do, however, have higher hopes for Woodman and believe Elliot is a safer pair of hands ahead of the new season, but do believe Darlow is worth keeping should Benitez fail to bring a new number one to the club this summer.