The Wolves view on John Ruddy as Sunderland are linked with former Norwich goalkeeper
John Ruddy will be remembered very fondly at Wolves while Wanderers boss Bruno Lage wanted to keep the experienced stopper at Molineux.
Ruddy will be out of contract this summer and hasn’t been offered a new deal at the Premier League club, leading to reports that Sunderland are interested in signing the 35-year-old.
Black Cats boss Alex Neil managed Ruddy at Norwich, while Sunderland are looking to sign an experienced keeper to support academy graduate Anthony Patterson for the 2022/23 Championship season.
To find out more, the Echo caught up with Wolves reporter Alex Dicken at Birmingham Live to ask about Ruddy’s time in the West Midlands.
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“Ruddy will be remembered very fondly at Wolves after five years of excellent service,” he said.
"He was superb in his first season with the club to earn a spot in the PFA Championship team of the year after keeping 22 clean sheets.
"Ruddy has played a back-up role to Portuguese shot-stoppers Rui Patricio and Jose Sa in the past four years, but his influence behind-the-scenes has been enormous.
"Lage wanted to keep Ruddy at Molineux, but the club's hierarchy have moved in a different direction.”
Asked if Sunderland would be a good move for the goalkeeper, he replied: “Ruddy's performances this season have been markedly improved and I believe he is still a good goalkeeper for the second tier.
"Ruddy believes he still has a lot to offer as a first choice, and judging by his showings in cup competitions last season, he's got a point.
"Sunderland would have a good goalkeeper and an even better dressing room influence.”
In total, Ruddy played 72 times for Wolves after joining them on a free transfer from Norwich in 2017.
The 35-year-old only made two Premier League appearances during the 2021/22 campaign, as he played back-up to Sa, yet Lage expressed his desire to keep his second-choice stopper.
“In my opinion, yes,” said the Wolves boss back in April when asked if he would like Ruddy to stay.
“I don’t know what he has in his mind but we need a day to talk about it.
“In my opinion, I am pleased to have John around us.
“He’s one more guy that deserves to play much more. John gives a lot of things and is an important voice in the dressing room.
“He is a leader by example and works hard every day.
“If Jose is having a fantastic season it is because John is there. John is so important for us and I have no problem saying he deserves to play more, but Jose for now is having a fantastic season.”
Ruddy then announced he would be leaving Wolves a few days after playing in their 3-1 defeat by Liverpool last month.
“So yesterday seems as though it will be my last appearance for Wolves,” Ruddy posted on social media. “Thank you to the fans for your support through the highs and lows.
“Thank you to the backroom staff for all of your support and more importantly your friendships over the last five years.
“A huge thank you to every player that I was lucky enough to play and train alongside.”