Why John Ruddy should snub Chelsea
John Ruddy should stay at Norwich City for first-team football, despite interest from Chelsea
With Chelsea in the market for John Ruddy, the Norwich City 'keeper could swap the number one jersey at Norwich City for the bench at Stamford Bridge.
The bid, that came from the Blues, was ultimately rejected, but it left me wondering who would actually benefit from this potential move?
Ruddy has made fantastic progress since moving to Carrow Road from Everton - he has becoming an established Premier League goalkeeper, rated among the best in the division, and has even earned an England cap. Impressive for someone who made only one appearance for The Toffees.
Despite strong competition from Mark Bunn, Ruddy is likely to begin the season as Norwich's number one should he stay. This will help him to improve further and continue pushing Joe Hart for the England goalkeeper spot. At the age of 26, he has plenty of potential for development, but must be playing regularly.
However, should he move to Stamford Bridge, Ruddy is expected to play understudy to the ever-reliable Petr Cech. I highly doubt that that he will be able to dislodge the established Blues' favourite, and would be consigned to a season of Capital One Cup appearances (if he's lucky).
This would diminish any chances of adding to his solitary England cap, and lead to him struggling to progress his career. However, he would probably win more trophies and earn a significant amount more money. In terms of his personal career, though, he would not gain much from being understudy to Cech.
Norwich would also suffer, losing a top quality, home-grown goalkeeper who would be difficult to replace. Mark Bunn would suffice, but is not quite of the same standard.
Furthermore, it makes little sense for Chelsea. Paying £10million (apparently the sum Norwich have demanded) for a goalkeeper who will rarely feature for the first team does not make financial sense, particular with the pending introduction of the Financial Fair Play rules.
Also, it is unlikely that he will take over as the first-choice goalkeeper once Cech leaves - Thibault Courtois, currently on loan at Atletico Madrid, has proven himself to be among the best in Europe despite being only 21. His potential arrival would also block the young Jamal Blackman's path to the first-team, increasing the likelihood that Chelsea could lose yet another young gem.
Hilario has shown, on occasion, that he is a reasonable back-up, while Blackman is highly rated by the Chelsea backroom staff. Therefore Chelsea have no desperate need to sign a back-up goalkeeper, although they may feel that Blackman needs more experience on loan before being involved in the first team.
So Chelsea do not really need Ruddy, a move would not benefit the player himself and, other than the reasonably large transfer fee, Norwich would not gain much either.
As Chelsea prepare another offer and Ruddy mulls over a possible move to London, I think both parties should consider the career of Ross Turnbull. Recently released by Chelsea, Ross' career promised much when he moved from Middlesborough to Stamford Bridge.
The then 24-year-old had vowed not to simply sit on the bench; seven appearances (and six trophies, I should add) later his hopes of international football which he had harboured at Middlesborough are in tatters. It is also unlikely that he will find another Premier League club as first-choice and looks resigned to move to the Championship.
I do believe that Ruddy is a better goalkeeper, but fear that his career could end up the same way as Turnbull's.
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