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Wolverhampton Wanderers have signed Watford-born goalkeeper Will Norris from Cambridge United for an undisclosed fee.
The 23-year-old has been progressing nicely in recent times and now has to take a significant step up if given his first team chance in the Championship this season. The signing has taken some fans by surprise but there’s no doubt he has a future, here’s what we know about him so far:
At just 14 years of age, Norris began a five-year stint at Northwood, beginning his football education before being picked up by non-league Hatfield Town and later on by Royston Town, where he played 28 games and came to the attention of Cambridge United, for whom he signed in 2012.
In a five-year stay at the club, Norris played 84 league games in the university town, with significant loan stints at Royston and Braintree Town in between. In what proved to be his final season at Cambridge in 2016/17, Norris broke a record by saving 5 penalties in the season, including 2 in one game.
Managing to stay slightly under the radar, Wolves had been watching Norris and made their move this week to sign the ‘keeper on a three-year contract where he links up with another ex-Cambridge stopper in John Ruddy, to whom he will be second choice for now.
His penalty-saving record is no coincidence, as he is known to be a very good shot-stopper. His all-round game is not too bad either at his age, and being used to playing at lower levels, he naturally won’t command his area as confidently as Ruddy just yet.
At just 23, he is very young for a goalkeeper and as he spends more time at Wolves, playing for an ex-keeper and sometimes appearing in front of 30,000+ crowds, his confidence and experience will grow.
By this time next season, he may well be a first choice ‘keeper, though taking that position from Ruddy will be difficult if Wolves are a Premier League team then. Given where he has come from, his progression isn’t lightning quick but it is steady and unrelenting. So for now, there is no telling when his improvement will stop.
It’s easy to see him being a top division ‘keeper in the future and he has plenty of time on his hands, with ‘keepers traditionally not reaching their peak until at least their late 20’s to early 30’s.