John Ruddy will always hold a special place in the heart of Wolverhampton Wanderers fans and rightly so.
Before Portuguese international Rui Patricio arrived at Molineux to provide a touch of smouldering, top-level class between the sticks at Molineux, a once-capped Englishman from St Ives was Wolves’ number one. And what a job he did.
Ruddy conceded just 36 goals in 45 games as Wolves stormed to the Championship title in 2017/18 during Nuno Espirito Santo’s first year in charge in the Black Country. With 24 clean sheets to his name, there was only going to be one winner of the Golden Glove that season.
But football is a ruthless, cruel game with no place for sentiment. Just weeks after Ruddy lifted the Championship trophy high into the sky, Patricio was heading to Wolves to relegate him permanently to the bench.
Since the start of 2018/19, the former Norwich City custodian has played one out of a possible 42 Premier League matches. Unless Patricio suffers an injury, a suspension or a dramatic fall from grace, Ruddy looks unlikely to add to that meagre tally before his contract expires next summer.
And it seems that Wolves are already preparing for life without their reliable number two. According to Ajansspor, the Midland giants are planning to send scouts to Turkey to watch Caykur Rizespor’s Gokhan Akkan and Trabzonspor’s Ugurcan Cakir after the international break.
They are the two most promising young ‘keepers in Turkish football with Cakir in particular catching the eye for his cat-like reflexes and ability to command the box like a seasoned veteran. The Star claims that Liverpool are also interested in a one-time international who is valued at £14 million, watching him during a Man of the Match display against Fenerbahce.
Both Cakir (below) and Akkan are typical Wolves signings to boot. They have youth on their side and limitless potential. They represent an exciting future at Molineux while all the signs suggest that Ruddy will soon be consigned to the past.
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