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    Newcastle United's top five goalkeeping options after Tim Krul is ruled out for the season.

    By Ryan Carter. Twitter: @TheRyanJCarter

    Life just gets harder and harder for Newcastle United as injuries continue to pile up for the club sat bottom of the Premier League.

    Newcastle had 12 players carrying knocks going into the international break, before the Magpies’ first choice goalkeeper Tim Krul made it unlucky number 13.

    The Dutchman has become a vital part of the North East club’s plans over the years and has provided a number of important saves to help preserve the Toon Army’s top flight status.

    But after picking up a serious knee injury while on international duty with Holland against Kazakhstan, Krul is set to miss the rest of the season.

    The injury could not have come at a worse time for Newcastle, with another relegation scrap looking likely yet again on Tyneside following a string of bad results early in the campaign.

    However, misery for the first choice shot-stopper could prove to be a fantastic opportunity for one of the club’s other options to star between the posts.

    Steve McClaren does not have the luxury of experience to turn to in the goalkeeping position as many of his predecessors at the club have had in the past.

    Glenn Roeder and Sam Allardyce were able to look towards the likes of Shay Given and Steve Harper during their time in the North East, whereas McClaren has only one option available with Premier League experience.

    Instead the former England manager will have to look towards a combination of young talent and players looking to show they can cut it in one of the strongest leagues in football.

    Now it is time to take a look at five men who will look to make their mark during Krul’s absence and the rankings to deceiver who is most likely to take the starting role.

    5. Brendan Pearson

    Age: 18
    Career Highlights: Victory in his Under-18s debut over Barnsley.

    This 18-year-old goalkeeper has been with Newcastle since the age of 10 and to play for the senior team at such a young age would be a dream come true for the boyhood Magpies fan.

    Pearson has not covered himself in glory for the Under-18s however, having conceded over 20 goals in just nine games already this season.

    A Premier League debut for the Academy player is surely a million miles away, with the club likely to take the emergency loan route before the youngster gets the nod.

    4. Paul Woolston

    Age: 17
    Career Highlights: Played for England at Under-17s level.
    Clean sheet against Manchester United’s youth team on his debut at the age of 15.

    The points mentioned above make for interesting reading for Newcastle fans hoping to see their Academy produce the next stars of the future.

    Paul Woolston has certainly turned a few heads and put in performances for the youth squad which saw him earn a loan move to the Magpies’ North East neighbours Gateshead.

    The young keeper has also been selected to be a part of England team to compete in this year’s Under-17 World Cup this year, which he would have to miss if selected by McClaren.

    But much like Pearson, Woolston will be an unlikely choice to feature for the senior team any time soon.

    3. Freddie Woodman

    Age: 18
    Career Highlights: Winners medal in the 2014 Under-17 European Championship.
    Positive loan spell with Crawley Town.
    Won the Jack Hixon Award earlier this year for his impressive performances with Newcastle’s Youth set up.

    Freddie Woodman has been looking to move forward in his footballing career after securing his position as second choice goalkeeper towards the end of last season.

    The son of former Crystal Palace ‘keeper and former Newcastle goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman has excelled for some time now, for both club and country.

    He was part of John Peacock’s team who won the Under-17 European Championship last year and has enjoyed a successful loan spell with Crawley Town this campaign, having kept a string of clean sheets for the League Two club.

    Unlike the previously mentioned teenage goalkeepers, Woodman may be in with a chance of getting a few starts for Newcastle after his positive start to the season and will likely make the bench against Norwich this weekend after being recalled from Crawley.

    2. Karl Darlow

    Age: 25
    Career Highlights: Offered to play for Wales at senior level (turned down by the player).
    Clean sheet in senior debut against Crystal Palace in 2011 to earn Nottingham Forest a Championship play-off place.

    Karl Darlow has established himself as Newcastle’s second choice goalkeeper this campaign, following an impressive loan spell with Nottingham Forest last season.

    The young shot-stopper would undoubtedly be the man set to replace Krul during the Dutchman’s absence had the former Forest ‘keeper not picked up an injury of his own.

    Darlow’s ankle injury will keep him out for some time and will give the next goalkeeper on this countdown his chance to prove himself in the coming weeks.

    However, if performances fail to impress McClaren during that time, Darlow could be fired into the starting line-up upon his return.

    1.Rob Elliot

    Age: 29
    Career Highlights: Won the Conference National with Accrington Stanley.
    Voted best goalkeeper of the decade for Accrington Stanley in 2010.
    Three caps for the Republic of Ireland.

    Rob Elliot will surely start against Norwich, as long as he returns from his Republic of Ireland call up fully fit.

    With 16 Premier League appearances under his belt, he goes unchallenged as the most experienced ‘keeper Newcastle have at their disposal behind Krul.

    The Greenwich-born goalkeeper has been relegated to third-choice in recent seasons and has been close to being shown the door on a number of occasions but instead stayed to fight for his place.

    Elliot’s grit and determination seems to have paid off now that both Krul and Darlow are out injured.

    Now the Irish international can grab this chance with both hands and if he makes a good enough start, McClaren will struggle to replace him with a returning Darlow or a January signing.

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    Item Reviewed: Newcastle United's top five goalkeeping options after Tim Krul is ruled out for the season. Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ryan Carter
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