When Nathan Collins signed for Wolves last summer, the Irish footballing community jumped for joy as one of our best and brightest was joining an established Premier League club.
Collins began his career at Wolves in the starting eleven, but over the past 8 months, his performances have been in decline. Some low lights include being shown a straight red card against Manchester City and a 4-0 throttling at the hands of Leicester.
Bruno Lage, the manager who signed Collins, was sacked, and since Julen Lopetegui has taken the helm, Max Kilman and Craig Dawson have been the starting centre-backs at the expense of Collins.
Kenny Cunningham spoke to Nathan Murphy on Off The Ball about how worried we should be for Nathan Collins.
"I think the experience of Dawson and Killman stunts his development," said Cunningham. "Kilmann got the armband today, which tells you how the manager views him. It is going to be a tough one for him. It is not ideal for him in terms of his development."
"When he arrived at Wolves, he got into the team straightaway, and it was happy days. Now not so much. He needs to get more minutes to help him sharpen up his game, especially when the international break comes around. But that isn't happening."
"I think he has got enough money in the bank with the Ireland manager to ensure he is in the squad. Yet, every player is different. Some really struggle when they are not in the first team. They lose a bit of rhythm in their game. "
"I think he is young enough, and his game is sharp enough to come into the Ireland team and play against France. I expect a performance from him. He has had a stellar start to his Ireland career. I think we will need him. We need him to turn up. It is going to be so important for us."
Nathan Collins will hope to get some minutes under his belt as Wolves host Leeds United at Molineux next Saturday.
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