John Ruddy tapped up Ryan Bennett before joining Norwich City's old boys' club at Wolves
PUBLISHED: 09:09 10 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:33 10 July 2017
John Ruddy has signed a two-year deal at Norwich City's Championship rivals Wolves
Wolves confirmed they had recruited the former City number one on a free transfer early on Monday morning, after a summer-long chase, and the 30-year-old will now fly out to Austria to join his club at a pre-season training camp.
Ruddy was one of seven senior players who were not offered new Norwich deals at the end of last season and links up again with former Canaries’ team mate Ryan Bennett, who had already made a switch to the West Midlands.
Ruddy’s Molineux move comes just days after his new club announced fellow keeper Carl Ikeme has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia.
“First and foremost I want to send my best wishes to Carl and his family at this difficult time,” said Ruddy, speaking to Wolves’ official site. “As the club have already stated he is going to be backed with all the help and support that he and his family need.
“I know the players that have been here for a very long time with him will be feeling it as well. So yes, this is a bittersweet feeling for me – it is good to be here but the circumstances could have been better. The plan would have been for me to come in and here and be competing against Carl.
“Having played against him over a number of years I know what a good goalkeeper he is so it would have been fantastic for the club to have had us competing and bringing out the best in each other.
“Now it is a situation where football takes a back seat for Carl and everyone’s thoughts are with him.”
Ruddy revealed he was in constant touch with Bennett before opting to turn his back on the chance for a potential Premier League move.
“I see this as the second chapter of my career now,” he said. “I could have maybe waited on a few Premier League clubs to see what they were doing regarding their goalkeepers. But the guarantee here of really battling to play is important.
“Being 30 years old, and feeling in the best shape I have been in for a long while, I am determined that Wolves will get the best out of me that I feel I can give them.
“I have spoken to Ryan (Bennett) a fair bit over the last few weeks and he says he has settled in really well, is enjoying the club and that there is a good group of lads here. Every player in the changing room here wants to play in the Premier League. And I am no different. I have had a taste of it and I know what it is about.
“I know how to get out of this league as well which hopefully will have a positive influence on the other guys. The expectation levels at Wolves are going higher and higher. There are big crowds here and Molineux is a great place to come and play. Having been around promotion before you want more of that. This season is a big season for the football club and hopefully we can all come together with the same aim, which is promotion.”
Ruddy and Bennett are scheduled to return to their old club in Wolves’ Championship visit on October 31, before the return at Wolves on February 21 2018.