As Wolves secured their Premiership status for the third consecutive season, many see this as the perfect time to start blooding the youngsters and seeing how far they can take us in years to come. Several hugely talented footballers have come through the fantastic Academy with Wolves – Joleon Lescott and Robbie Keane to name two – and everyone is keen to see who the superstars of tomorrow are.
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing is the first on a promising list of youngsters who look like they’re going to make the step up to top-flight football very soon. The winger has been a massive success on his loan spell at Peterborough this season. His impressive dribbling skills and determined attitude have led to many fans pleading with the young star on Twitter to stay on at the club as they prepare for life in the Championship. Judging by the reaction to his performances this season, the player has a big future ahead.
Danny Batth is a tall, strong centre-half who has just returned from loan from Sheffield Wednesday. The 20 year-old left the fans at Hillsborough gobsmacked with just how good he is. Having spent the majority of the year in Sheffield for University, I often found Owls fans (who knew I was a Wolves fan, of course) approaching me expressing their delight about his performances. I even discovered a “Danny Batth – best defender we’ve had in a decade” thread of Wednesday’s official message board.
Jonny Gorman is likely to be the one the majority of you already know about – thanks to him already representing Northern Ireland at senior level at the age of just 17. Despite spending his very early days with both Manchester City & Manchester Utd, it’s Wolves where he started to develop strongly and manage to pick up his first senior International cap. The tricky winger has just completed his A-levels and now has the chance to focus fully on football, and I expect him to make a few first-team appearances next season.
Scott Malone is the final player I will mention at this point. The left-back is the player I have personally been impressed with the most after watching him in pre-season last summer. Already a winner of the ‘Wolves Academy Player of the Season’ award, the 20 year-old seemingly has it all. He, along with other Wolves youngster Sam Winnall, helped Burton Albion secure their League 2 status this season with an impressive loan spell. He’s solid defensively, and loves to get forward. Malone looks like a perfect left-back in the making, and with that particular position being a sensitive spot for the club; it seems as though he could be making the step up sooner rather than later.
I could spend the entire week going into detail listing all of our promising players, but instead I’ll leave you with extra special mentions for Zele Ismail, Sam Winnall and David Davis – yet another three stars that are shining in the academy. The future certainly looks bright for Wolverhampton Wanderers.