Comment: Wolves make a wise move in keeping John Ruddy around
Wolves’ decision to extend John Ruddy’s stay is a very sensible one – you will not find a better back-up keeper.
On and off the pitch, Ruddy has been top-drawer over the past few years.
Yes, his game time has grown more and more limited because of the prowess of Rui Patricio, but whenever the 33-year-old has come in – by and large – he has impressed.
Having kept 24 clean sheets in his debut campaign, he has gone on to become the ‘cup keeper’ and remained an influential figure behind the scenes.
Ruddy, a consummate professional, commands respect and keeping him around for another year was a no-brainer.
Also sticking around are four young stars.
Taylor Perry, to no surprise, was retained after his breakthrough into the first-team fold earlier this season.
Making two appearances in the Carabao Cup and one in the Europa League, he looked promising – displaying good energy and a handy passing range in the middle of the park.
He had dropped back into the under-23s just before football was suspended but, still only 18, the Dudley-born lad has plenty of time on his side.
Cameron John has a fair amount of potential as well. The centre-half flirted with a first-team breakthrough a couple of years ago before falling off the radar somewhat.
Ultimately, though, he is still only 20 and has enjoyed a successful loan spell at League One side Doncaster, along with Niall Ennis, this season.
He played 18 times in the league for them – 17 of those as a starter – and scored a couple of goals along the way.
Central midfielder Sadou Diallo has also benefitted from some senior football, having been out on loan at fellow third-tier outfit Accrington Stanley. Nine appearances may not sound like a lot, but he did enough to convince them to extend his initial short-term loan – so keeping him around at Wolves for another year is a risk-free move. Like John, he is only 20.
Highly-rated keeper Jamie Pardington, picked up from Rushall Olympic a couple of years ago, has been kept on as well.
On to the departures and, again, there is nothing really eyebrow-raising.
Jordan Graham’s exit is the most notable, although it must be said the writing has been on the wall for a long time now.
It is just a shame how things turned out for him at Wolves.
Such an exciting player to watch when he first broke into the side under Kenny Jackett, the winger took full-backs on for fun and was an excellent crosser of the ball.
He seemed destined for big things but a mixture of injuries and unfruitful loan spells have stunted that early promise.
Hopefully, he can get regular football somewhere soon as there is a very good player in there.
You have to think a lot of League One sides – Gillingham, where he had been on loan, perhaps being one – will be keen to get him in now he is available on a free.
Meanwhile, it will be a triumph if defender Phil Ofosu-Ayeh plays again, anywhere.
At least that is how it would seem after a completely absent three years at Wolves.
For all we know, Ofosu-Ayeh could have been a fantastic player but a succession of injuries prevented us from ever finding out.
His signing in the summer of 2017 will be remembered as one of the most peculiar in the club’s history, at least in this century.
Also gone are Connor Johnson, Callum Thompson, Ming-yang Yang, Jeb Abbey and Todd Parker.
It is never easy to predict where released youngsters will end up but defender Johnson – having seen him quite a lot when he was at non-league Telford a couple of years back – should carve out a decent professional career.
Best of luck to them all.