McInnes: Keeper Woodman knocked back Celtic and kept word to sign on at Pittodrie

Freddie Woodman

Boss Derek McInnes today hailed Newcastle keeper Freddie Woodman for keeping his word by signing for the Dons.

Premiership leaders Celtic had attempted to hijack the Reds’ bid to secure the Under-20 World Cup winner.

However, Woodman, 20, opted to move to Pittodrie on loan until the end of the season.

The paperwork was completed on the move following Aberdeen’s 4-2 win at Ross County which leapfrogged them over Rangers to second in the Premiership.

Woodman was the Dons’ second deadline day signing as Carlisle United striker Sam Cosgrove signed a two-and-a-half year deal.

McInnes said: “There were lots of clubs in for Freddie leapfrogged them over Rangers to second in the Premiership.

Woodman was the Dons’ second deadline day signing as Carlisle United striker Sam Cosgrove signed a two-and-a-half year deal.

McInnes said: “There were lots of clubs in for Freddie but his commitment and word to us meant a lot and we’re looking forward to getting him with us.

“He’s a fantastic young talent.

“I’m really looking forward to working with him. I was really impressed with him last season.”

Woodman is highly rated at St James’ Park and started the 3-1 FA Cup win over Luton Town last month.

He was on the bench for Newcastle in last night’s 1-1 home draw with Burnley.

The loan move was sanctioned as Newcastle secured keeper Martin Dubravka from Sparta Prague on deadline day.

That dropped Woodman down to third choice again.

The England U21 keeper, who was on loan at Kilmarnock for the second half of last season, will today travel up to join the Dons squad.

“I thought he got better and better at Kilmarnock,” said McInnes.

“An agreement was in place but Freddie obviously had to be on the bench on the night for Newcastle.

“We were keen to get that resolved before the window closed.”

Woodman was brought in as keeper Joe Lewis is set to be out for up to three months having yesterday undergone knee ligament surgery.

Also a U17 Euros winner with England, Woodman immediately goes into contention to start against Hamilton on Saturday.

However, McInnes admits stiker Cosgrove is one for the future.

Aberdeen secured Cosgrove just hours before kick-off in Dingwall.

He travelled up to the Reds’ hotel in Inverness to undergo a medical and agree terms before kick-off.

McInnes had originally planned to take in Cosgrove in the summer having agreed a pre-contract.

The Dons boss said: “There is no real pressure on Sam as it was one for the summer.

“He is a young boy and not had a lot of games.

“I have to listen to my scouts and we have watched them ourselves.

“We feel that there is potential there.

“He is six foot three and is raw, young and does not have real experience.

“It was always one for next season.

“But we feel there is a player there we can work with.

“After a conversation with Carlisle, after we had agreed a pre-contract with Sam, it became clear it was maybe in everyone’s interest just to get him up.

“We are not putting too much pressure on him,

“It is a bit like with Michael Devlin where he can settle into the club and get used to our way of working.

“He can get himself up to speed and hopefully we get the benefit of that next season.

“But I am sure having spoken to Sam he will be eager to prove his worth as quickly as possible.”

Cosgrove accepts he will be an unknown quantity having only made 12 appearances and scored once for Carlisle.

However, the striker has vowed to quickly make an impact at Pittodrie as an aggressive target man.

Cosgrove said: “My name will not be too well known among the Aberdeen fans, but hopefully once I settle in they will quickly know more about me.

“Hopefully I will give them something to cheer about.

“Aberdeen are a massive club and you can’t help but know about their history.

“I am aware the side have done very well in recent years under the manager and are once again having another good season and are up at the top end of the table, also challenging in the Scottish Cup.

“I am a physical presence, but I also like to get on the ball and do things technically.

“Due to the demands of League Two in England, I have had to change my game and become that target man.

“You have to be aggressive and hopefully I can take that into the Scottish League.”

Aberdeen jumped above Rangers into second spot on transfer deadline day to take advantage of the Ibrox club’s Scottish Cup tie at Fraserburgh.

McInnes said: “When you get opportunites like that when it gets to this stage in the season then it is important you take them.”

“I was really pleased with our work. We’ve had some good results up at Ross County but it’s never been comfortable or easy and we have had to work for everything.

“The movement from the front four was terrific. We got the goals that our dominance showed and it was really pleasing at half-time.

“We were fantastic and there is no doubt we were the better team and I am just disappointed in the two goals we lost,”

Meanwhile, Aberdeen U20 central defender Harlain Mbayo has joined Albion Rovers on loan until the end of the season.

Mbayo can still play for the Aberdeen U20s as well as Albion as he signed on at Pittodrie on a development loan.

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