Are the next generation of Wolves academy prospects ready to step up to the first team? Well, Its clearly down to each person’s personal opinion, but looking at facts, the best way to assess this is to look at the next stage down from the first team, the U21s.
Wolves U21s qualified for the Premier League Elite stage, a newly established national academy league, which in principle means we have one of the best eight U21 teams in the country. Even if in my opinion we over achieved getting to this stage, finishing above Manchester City & Chelsea. We started off slowly in the elite stage but have really grown into the Elite league, including the last few games after good results against Spurs U21s and Manchester United U21s.
Whatever happens in the remaining games, it’s a fantastic achievement which will be beneficial in the future and all Wolves fans should be proud.
Which players from this U21 squad could step up to the first team? I don’t think any of the players in the U18s/U21s are ready to step up currently, not to say they couldn’t in the future. The three that were always ahead in ability and experience were Danny Batth, Matt Doherty, and Jake Cassidy.
With the realistic possibility of League One football coming our way, I have picked a team that could play in League One if all our established first team players were sold. This may be unrealistic but it will give supporters a chance to see who is next in line:
GK- Aaron Mccarey
RB- Matt Doherty/Kristan Kostma
CB- Danny Batth
CB- Jamie Tank/Michael Ihekwe
LB- Jay Cranston
RM- Zele Ismail
CM- Jack Price
CM- Lee Evans
LM- Anthony Forde
CF- Liam Mcalinden
CF- Jake Cassidy
Which division Wolves are in will have a big impact on how many of the academy players I have highlighted will be given a chance in the future. The majority of managers don’t like throwing youngsters in when times are tough and the first team is struggling as some still don’t have the mental capability to cope with playing in front of 20,000 fans who aren’t very happy.
Realistically the only way to find out if the next generation of Wolves academy prospects are ready to step up to the first team is if they are given a chance. Then the whole of Molineux faithful can make that judgement and form an opinion and not before then.
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