'Fit the bill' - Eddie Howe signing explained as Newcastle United transfer changes everything

Newcastle United needed a new backup goalkeeper to replace Loris Karius and have found their man in 37-year-old John Ruddy. Released by Birmingham City last month after the club's relegation to League One, the signing is, understandably, not the flashy, big-name arrival fans are clamouring for this summer.

Eddie Howe, however, is a fan of these types of additions and knows full well that Ruddy's experience and leadership will prove crucial in the dressing room and on the training pitch. Even the veteran himself knows he has been brought in to help out behind the scenes, rather than in between the sticks in the Premier League.

Newcastle were in the market for an experienced goalkeeper to come and help with what I would call setting standards and cultures on a daily basis, making sure training is at a good tempo and stuff," Ruddy explained upon his arrival when speaking to Newcastle's media channels. "They looked around the market and I fit the bill.

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“I was coming to the end of my contract at Birmingham and it was something I couldn’t turn down. It’s a huge club which is only going one way and to be a part of that, however big or small, is very exciting.

“I’ve been a professional for 20 years, I started at the bottom of the ladder and worked my way up, so I’d like to think I can lean on those experiences. First of all, I want to make sure I’m trying to improve on a daily basis and that will in turn help others to drive standards as well. The goalkeeping department is already very strong so I want to come in and try and make that better.”

Ruddy wasn't the only goalkeeping arrival of the last 48 hours, with Odysseas Vlachodimos also signing for the Magpies as part of the deal that saw Elliot Anderson leave for Nottingham Forest. The Greek goalkeeper endured a tricky season at the City Ground but has previous, vast experience in the Champions League with Benfica and at international level.

With Ruddy and Vlachodimos now through the door, everything has changed in terms of Howe's goalkeeping department and future plans. Martin Dubravka, Newcastle's current second-choice, is poised to leave and questions are now being asked as to whether Howe's side need to go out and spend big on a backup to Nick Pope.

James Trafford of Burnley has been a target for Newcastle in recent weeks but his arrival on Tyneside would mean six first-team goalkeepers on the books, including Mark Gillespie, if Dubravka and Pope stay put. £20m is the asking price for the Turf Moor star.

Given financial restrictions at present, many will feel that money would be better spent elsewhere with Newcastle eyeing upgrades in defence and on the right of their attack.

Dubravka is attracting interest from Saudi Arabian clubs and Scottish champions Celtic. He is expected to decide his next move shortly after being dumped out of Euro 2024 in Slovakia's 2-1 defeat to England over the weekend.