The irony should not have been lost on Wolves manager Paul Lambert. While the Championship strugglers were conceding sloppy goals at an alarming rate, a player they loaned out at the start of the season was going from strength to strength in a side cruising to the title.
Understandably, the Sheffield Star report that runaway League One champions Sheffield United will consider making a move to re-sign last season’s loanee Ethan Ebanks-Landell ahead of their return to the Championship.
The West Bromwich-born centre-back played a starring role in Chris Wilder’s Bramall Lane success story, performing consistently at centre-half while also chipping in with five goals at the other end.
And it’s fair to say he’s comfortably outperformed the defenders at Wolves’ disposal – albeit in a lower league. Lambert has publically lamented the number of individual errors made by his backline in recent months, with England youth duo Dominic Iorfa and Kortney Hause in particular coming under fire on occasions.
Furthermore, club captain Danny Batth has flattered to deceive at times. And while there’s been nothing at all wrong with the evergreen performances of 33-year-old Mike Williamson, the fact that injury has restricted him to just five Championship appearances all season only rubs salt into the wounds.
Therefore, there’s certainly a place in the squad for a versatile, athletic defender like Ebanks-Landell. With just 34 Championship games in Wolves’ colours under his belt, he may not have the experience Lambert is crying out for but his raw potential means it would surely be a mistake selling him after an excellent season out on loan.
Ebanks-Landell has earned a chance at Molineux.