Wolves have reportedly joined Southampton in the race for Manchester City goalkeeper, Joe Hart’s signature. The 31-year-old has been left behind at home while the rest of his teammates travel to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He has struck out with West Ham United too after managing a less than impressive season out on loan at the London Stadium.
He broke his silence earlier this week to address the issue of getting snubbed by Gareth Southgate. He said, “Not going to lie, I’m gutted. After two years of trying to make the most of a really tough situation, this is hard to take. I’m proud to have put in the graft and play every minute to qualify with the team and have a really important input in that outcome.”
For a lot of England fans, it might be heartbreaking to see the 75-time capped international getting denied a spot in the 23-man list. Hart has been the face of the defensive line for quite a while and arguably was one of the best keepers in the Premier League.
His heroics in the Manchester City goal line was awe-inspiring to many as he maintained a key role in the club’s sudden rise to elite status. The Englishman was at the back of it all, at his enthusiastic best, with close to 350 appearances under his belt.
However, his form slowly started to wane after the title-winning 2011/12 season. At first, it was a couple of errors here and there. Later, he got dropped to the bench and got replaced by Costel Pantilimon after making a horrible mistake in the 2-1 loss to Chelsea in the Premier League.
He did manage to squeeze in a couple of eye-catching performances which helped him keep his number 1 spot throughout Manuel Pellegrini’s reign. The 2014/15 UEFA Champions League fixture against Barcelona was one to remember as the Englishman made 10 saves, including one penalty spot kick from Lionel Messi himself.
Hart’s reign at the City backline ended as soon as Pep Guardiola stepped inside the Etihad. The former Barcelona head coach was at his prepared best taking on the job and wasted no time in finding Hart a new home. The Citizens signed Claudio Bravo and the 31-year-old shot stopper was sent out to Serie A outfit, Torino.
It will be harsh to label him as washed up but some of the recent data does point towards that direction. Hart enjoyed an illustrious period early on in his career but is slowly fading into one of the ‘could-have-beens’. It would not be the worst option for him take up the offer from any one of the interested parties. Wolves certainly need all the help they can get if they plan on cementing their spot in the top-flight.
Having an experienced head like Hart will go a long way in staking those claims. Wolves are in the Premier League now and will need a keeper who knows the pace of the league. Moreover, Hart can be one of the leaders in the side as he knows the league inside out.