What Alex Neil has previously said about former Norwich and Wolves goalkeeper John Ruddy amid Sunderland links

Sunderland are said to be interested in former Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy – a player who has previously worked with Black Cats boss Alex Neil.

Ruddy, 35, is set to leave Premier League side Wolves this summer, while Sunderland are looking to sign an experienced keeper to support academy graduate Anthony Patterson for the 2022/23 Championship season.

When Neil took charge of Norwich in 2015, Ruddy was the club’s first-choice goalkeeper and helped the Canaries win promotion via the play-offs that season.

The former England stopper, who was capped once by his country, then started Norwich’s first 14 games in the Premier League but was dropped by Neil after failing to keep a clean sheet.

Goalkeeper John Ruddy is set to leave Wolves this summer. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Ruddy was recalled after 11 league games out of the side and was praised by Neil for his reaction.

"Big John, since he came back into the team, I know he won't probably agree with me, but leaving him out was the best thing I could have done because since then he has been great,” said Neil in April 2016.

“I am sure at the time John would not have looked at it that way but now looking at where he is he will be pretty happy with his game and what he is doing and I am happy.

“The simple fact is if he doesn't respond in that manner he isn't the player you would hope he is because the true test for me of a player is how they respond to a disappointment or a setback or a blow. John's response has been first class, as I would expect.”

Ruddy lost his place again at the start of the 2016/17 season, following Norwich’s relegation back to the Championship, but was recalled in November.

Neil was then sacked by Norwich in March 2017, but subsequently spoke about Ruddy’s ability.

“I think John will be in demand,' said Neil in May 2017, when the keeper was set to become a free agent.

“It won't surprise me if John ends up in the Premier League somewhere. It is rare you get someone like John who is going to be a free transfer and I would be pretty confident he will be able to get himself sorted.”

Ruddy signed for Wolves, then in the Championship, a month later.