What does Angus Gunn's imminent arrival mean for Declan Rudd at Norwich City?
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Poor old Declan Rudd.
Just when he thought he was finally going to get his chance as City’s number one, along comes Angus Gunn.
Gunn is expected to sign a season-long loan deal at Carrow Road later this week and he hasn’t come back to Norfolk to sit on the bench.
The Manchester City ace will start next season as new head coach Daniel Farke’s number one - that’s the only way a Championship club can borrow a Premier League player. They have to start or they will be recalled at the earliest opportunity.
To start Gunn on the bench would do so much damage to Norwich’s reputation as a club that can help develop promising Premier League players - a model that sporting director Stuart Webber is likely to adopt as he did so successfully at Huddersfield.
But where does that leave Rudd?
The Canaries took up an option to extend his contract by a season before the end of the season and Rudd revealed that he had held talks with Webber, who said the keeper would start with a clean slate at Carrow Road.
With John Ruddy released on a free transfer this summer it looked like the Diss shot-stopper would finally get his chance.
But Gunn’s arrival will change that completely.
Rudd won’t be happy. He was furious last summer when Michael McGovern was brought in to challenge John Ruddy for the number one spot and was sent out on loan to Charlton.
At 26 Rudd needs to play – he is no longer a promising youngster. He needs to be playing every week under a manager, who says ‘you’re my number one’.
Rudd has always operated under the impression at City that one mistake would result in him losing his place. Whatever field you work in that pressure is difficult to come to terms with.
Rudd now has a decision to make. Does he sit on the bench waiting for a chance should Gunn get injured or lose form? Or does he say enough is enough and cut ties with Norwich, a club he has been at since he was seven years old.
There will be takers - Norwich might struggle to shift some of their squad this summer but if they decide Rudd can leave then other clubs will be in for him.
Preston boss Simon Grayson is a fan whilst Charlton were keen to sign him permanently after he impressed on loan at The Valley last season.
That wasn’t what Rudd wanted though. As a former season-ticket holder he is desperate to be his boyhood club’s first choice keeper.
Gunn’s arrival may just have ended that dream.