Kenny Jackett believes Danny Batth is ready to cement a place in the Wolves line-up this season.
The powerful defender was a key part of Sheffield Wednesday’s promotion from League One two seasons ago, but has since found opportunities limited when back at Molineux prior to Jackett's arrival.
Batth has impressed Jackett during pre-season, who is also safe in the knowledge that defenders also continually improve and get better the more experience they pick up.
“Danny has had a good pre-season,” says the Head Coach.
“He’s a right-sided centre-back who’s more comfortable on his right foot than his left but is very committed.
“He’s a good professional who does things right. I would estimate he has the ability to go on and be a leader in time.
“He had a good record in this division with Sheffield Wednesday two years ago.
“He didn’t get as many starts last season as he would have liked but he wants to play for Wolves and wants to put that right now this season.
“A lot of people talk about the last couple of seasons and what’s happened but it isn’t really particularly relevant for myself as to ‘did he get picked, or didn’t he? Or what the reasons were’.
“They’re different circumstances as well, but in the circumstances I’ve seen in pre-season he’s been the best right-sided centre-half.
“Is he ready to be a regular? I think he is, yes, from what I’ve seen in pre-season.
“That will earn him a place and we’ll see now whether he can keep that place, like all of the players.
“He’s had an impressive pre-season and now I’m looking for him to handle League One strikers.
“That’s his challenge now coming up.”
And Jackett is confident Batth will make even more strides over the coming years.
With that in mind he would also be keen to try and secure the defender’s future beyond the current year remaining on his contract.
“As for the future, I don’t think he’s anywhere near his peak in that position,” says Jackett.
“Centre-halves and goalkeepers come into their best years in their late 20s.
“They’re slightly older because they’re decision-making positions, so generally you get better as you get older.
“He’s nowhere near his peak and he’s at the start of his Wolves career because he’s never been a regular.
“It’s only pre-season but his pre-season has been good. Now he needs to transfer that into League games.
“He’s somebody we do like and we would like that to continue, yes.
“He’s liked and rated by everybody inside the club.”