Will long-serving pair John Ruddy and Ryan Bennett be able to concentrate fully for a Norwich City swansong?
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As seven senior players head for the Norwich City exit door David Freezer looks back on the Canaries careers of the out-of-contract group
The lengthy careers of John Ruddy and Ryan Bennett are coming to an end at Norwich City but will they be given the chance to say a final farewell at Carrow Road on Sunday?
Only interim head coach Alan Irvine and sporting director Stuart Webber will be able to give us that answer ahead of City’s final Championship match of the season against Queens Park Rangers.
Ruddy has been with the Canaries for seven seasons and Bennett for more than five but both have been informed by Webber they will not be having their contracts renewed this summer.
The club had options to activate 12-month extensions to both players’ deals but have opted to move them on as part of a revamp of City’s playing squad.
That means both will be free agents on June 30, with big wages believed to be the key factor in allowing Ruddy to leave and poor form contributing to Bennett’s exit. Their exits have been announced alongside those of high-earning fringe players Sebastien Bassong, Michael Turner, Steven Whittaker, Youssouf Mulumbu and Kyle Lafferty.
Whittaker, who has provided able cover at full-back would probably have been the only one of that group who could figure against QPR but for Ruddy and Bennett it is different, who both started the 3-3 draw at Leeds on Saturday.
Long-serving keeper Ruddy is the biggest name casualty having joined from Everton in 2010 and helped Paul Lambert’s team win promotion to the Premier League.
The 30-year-old has made a total of 242 appearances for the club to place him 46th in City’s all-time appearances list.
Bennett joined from Peterborough United for around £3million in January 2012 and has gone on to make 119 appearances, with injury sometimes hampering his progress, although he has played 37 times in the current campaign and started the last three matches.
While neither has performed consistently in the last two seasons, both have served the club well at times and will no doubt want a chance to say goodbye. Irvine must decide if the duo will be able to concentrate fully though, as he looks to end the season on a high.