Wolverhampton Wanderers’ backup goalkeeper John Ruddy believes centre-back Jesus Vallejo can continue to step up to the challenges and demands of first-team football.
The 22-year-old joined the Midlands-based side on deadline day in the summer of 2018 from non-league outfit Maidenhead United but spent much of his first season at Molineux plying his trade for the U23 squad as they earned promotion.
He made his senior debut back in May last year, coming on as a last-minute substitute against relegated Fulham.
This season his role has started to increase substantially, featuring 11 times in all competitions and that could be ramped up more this month.
Ruddy certainly believes he can cope with everything top-flight football has to throw at him. In an interview with the Express & Star, he said:
“We’ve known what Max has been about for the last year since he stepped up to train with us on a regular basis.
“He’s a really great lad. Max adapts himself really well and wants to learn and improve.
“He’s fitted in really well because that’s the ethos within the whole squad.
“Everyone wants to do well, to improve and support each other.
“Max is another indication of the dressing room we have.”
Kilman’s presence amongst the starting line up could be about to increase tenfold after Wolves boss Nuno Santo all but confirmed that loanee Jesus Vallejo would return to his parent club Real Madrid this month.
This would technically leave the side rather light at centre-back, especially with Willy Boly not due back for another month at the absolute earliest.
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Nuno has often gone to midfield pair Romain Saiss and Leander Dendoncker in the back three, but it is Kilman who offers up a potentially better solution.
As a left-footed former Futsal international, he seems like the ideal player to sit at left centre-back in the Portuguese manager’s 3-4-3 system.
The need for options at the back couldn’t be any clearer but the 6 foot 4 colossus should be granted more of an opportunity as the club may focus their transfer plans in the attacking department this month, as per Tim Spiers, with fellow summer arrival Patrick Cutrone expected to also cut short his time at Molineux.
Can you remember how much each of these transfer icons cost? Only experts will get 100% on our quiz…
Kilman can be the answer. Ruddy’s praise will only do him the world of good, too.
While in other news, Wolves losing this highly-coveted star would be their biggest blow yet…