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What a difference a year makes! How Norwich City’s shunned seven have moved on

PUBLISHED: 12:11 02 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:18 02 May 2018

John Ruddy sprays the Champagne as Wolves celebrate winning the Championship title. Picture: Tim Goode/PA

John Ruddy sprays the Champagne as Wolves celebrate winning the Championship title. Picture: Tim Goode/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

It was one year ago today that Norwich City’s new regime gave the club’s revamp a kick-start.

Steven Whittaker, Michael Turner and John Ruddy were all allowed to leave Norwich City last summer.  Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesSteven Whittaker, Michael Turner and John Ruddy were all allowed to leave Norwich City last summer. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Seven big names were to go, long-serving goalkeeper John Ruddy and defenders Ryan Bennett and Seb Bassong among them.

Some were considered to be on wages which were no longer affordable for the Canaries, other simply surplus to requirements, but all had come to symbolise a period of failure.

The seven were told they would not be getting new contracts as sporting director Stuart Webber set about refreshing the first-team squad and working with managing director Steve Stone to balance the books.

Ahead of another summer of evolution as City target a brighter campaign in 2018/19, was it the right decision to shed those seven high-profile players 12 months ago? Here’s what they’ve done since...

John Ruddy celebrates Wolves taking the lead during their 2-2 draw with Norwich at Molineux in February.  
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesJohn Ruddy celebrates Wolves taking the lead during their 2-2 draw with Norwich at Molineux in February. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

John Ruddy

Widely acknowledged as a necessary outgoing due to the one-cap England international’s top-flight wages, the decision to allow Ruddy to leave split opinion after 243 appearances and seven seasons with the Canaries.

However, the former Everton keeper has bounced back in style. The 31-year-old helped Wolves add the Championship title to their promotion success on Saturday, keeping his 24th shut-out of the season to win the Championship Golden Glove trophy.

Has been an ever-present for the big-spenders, conceding just 36 goals in 45 games and being named in the Championship Team of the Season.

Ryan Bennett tackles former City team-mate Nelson Oliveira during the 2-2 draw at Molineux in February. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesRyan Bennett tackles former City team-mate Nelson Oliveira during the 2-2 draw at Molineux in February. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Ryan Bennett

The former Peterborough defender had never really fulfilled his potential as a Canaries player, with 119 appearances across five seasons, and had been a regular part of a leaky defence last season.

So while there were few objections to the defender being allowed to leave, the 28-year-old has used the situation to his advantage.

After a slow start, Bennett forced his way in to the starting XI and with 33 appearances in total and one goal – a crucial late winner at Bristol City in December – the former England U21 international now has another Premier League chance.

Steven Whittaker, right, in action for Hibs against Celtic earlier this season. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA WireSteven Whittaker, right, in action for Hibs against Celtic earlier this season. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Steven Whittaker

Having been on the fringes at City last season, making just 12 league appearances, it was little surprise to see that Scotland international right-back on his way last summer after five seasons in Norfolk.

After signing a three-year contract at former club Hibernian to return to the Scottish Premiership has featured regularly as Neil Lennon’s team have chased second place, making 28 appearances and scoring his second goal of the campaign during a 5-3 home win over Kilmarnock on Saturday.

Has fallen out of Scotland contention but appears to be enjoying his football again.

Sebastien Bassong did not join a new club after his Norwich exit. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesSebastien Bassong did not join a new club after his Norwich exit. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Seb Bassong

Just nine league games last season underlined that confidence in the former Tottenham and Newcastle centre-back had almost completely eroded, despite being City’s play-of-the-season winner in 2013 and 135 appearances across five seasons.

Has since been unable to find a club, despite a trial spell at Birmingham City early this season, and has started doing media work in France and the UK aged just 31.

That’s despite some Twitter videos in a Hethersett park of his training regimes.

Michael Turner has been playing in League One for Southend this season. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesMichael Turner has been playing in League One for Southend this season. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Michael Turner

The former Sunderland and Hull centre-back played just twice for City in his last two seasons and was expected to leave.

Signed a one year-deal with League One side Southend United and has enjoyed something of a revival.

Now aged 34, Turner has scored four goals in 25 games but the Shrimpers were unable to force their way into the play-off mix.

Youssouf Mulumbu in action for Kilmarnock against Rangers earlier this season. Picture: Jeff Holmes/PAYoussouf Mulumbu in action for Kilmarnock against Rangers earlier this season. Picture: Jeff Holmes/PA

Youssouf Mulumbu

After two injury-ravaged campaigns at Norwich the former West Brom midfielder has proved something of a success story for Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership.

With 17 appearances to his name since joining in November the 31-year-old has since been linked with Celtic and Rangers as his deal expires this summer.

The Democratic Republic of Congo international made just 24 appearances for City.

Kyle Lafferty has scored regularly for Hearts this season. Picture: Ian Rutherford/PAKyle Lafferty has scored regularly for Hearts this season. Picture: Ian Rutherford/PA

Kyle Lafferty

Northern Ireland striker Lafferty was a perennial substitute for City but has found his level in the Scottish Premiership with Hearts this season, scoring 17 goals in 42 games in all competitions.

Barely featured across three seasons at Norwich despite performing well at international level but seems happy at Hearts.

Has thanked the Edinburgh club for their support after going public with his addiction to gambling in the media to encourage other players to get help.

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