Norwich City ‘keeper’s Chelsea switch makes no sense for either club

As reports continue that John Ruddy could be on his way to London, Vincent Ralph argues against the move.

Reports today suggest Norwich City are in advanced talks with Chelsea about the possible move of John Ruddy to Stamford Bridge.

And yet it is a move that makes little sense for any of the parties involved – most notably the player himself.

At 26, Ruddy is approaching the peak of his career. And following a season of highs and lows – impressive performances curtailed by a five-month absence due to a torn thigh muscle – why would the player swap a regular starting birth with an up-and-coming side for a few League Cup matches and dead-rubbers?

Had Petr Cech been a few years older, Ruddy could justify the move as one of forward-thinking. A transfer of patience with the end result of succeeding the Chelsea stalwart.

But Cech is only 31, in an age when ‘keepers are playing long into their 30s. And as much as the Blues want an able deputy they already have one – a more than able one – in Thibaut Courtois.

The 21-year-old Belgian is set for his third season on loan with Atletico Madrid, having excelled since his not-so-temporary move.

Last season he was awarded the Zamora Trophy for being statistically the best ‘keeper in La Liga. And if and when he does finally pull on a Chelsea shirt he will be all-but-impossible to usurp.

So Ruddy would be signing in the hope of somehow overtaking not one ‘keeper in the pecking order, but – in the long term at least – two.

But that isn’t the only reason to remain at Carrow Road. The signings of Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Nathan Redmond point to an exciting future for the Canaries.

While talk of potential moves for Ola Toivenen and Martin Olsson suggest Chris Hughton is assembling a squad not just to survive but to compete.

In light of such ambition, Ruddy would be wise to remain an integral part of it.

Players move for all sorts of reasons – some for money, some for ambition and some out of necessity.

But moving to a club that has a legend in your position, and one in the making ready to ultimately step in, makes no sense.

Players of Ruddy’s quality should play, and Norwich must do everything in their power to keep him.

How do Norwich fans feel about Ruddy's possible departure?  And Chelsea fans, is he a necessary signing?

image: © pittaya

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