Why Max Kilman new deal is a step in the right direction for Wolves
According to the Express & Star, Wolves defender Max Kilman has put pen to paper on a new five-year deal to extend his stay at Molineux until the summer of 2025. The 23-year-old’s previous deal was due to expire in 2022. The Black County outfit have now rewarded the centre-back’s rise to first-team prominence with a new contract.
Born in Chelsea, West London, Max Kilman started his youth career at Fulham and had a brief stint at Gillingham before signing for Maidenhead United in 2015. He made a number of first-team appearances for Maidenhead. He also spent time on loan at Marlow in the non-league arena before joining Wolves in the summer of 2018.
Kilman was a key component of the Wolves’ U-23 side that won the Premier League 2 Division 2 title in 2018-19. He made his first-team debut as a late substitute against Fulham in the Premier League. In doing so, he became the first player since Chris Smalling to make the jump directly from the non-league to the Premier League without any loan moves in between.
The 23-year-old’s first start came in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League against Pyunik in August last year before he made his first appearance in the EFL Cup against Reading. Kilman featured 11 times in all competitions during the 2019-20 campaign, starting on four occasions in the group stages of the Europa League.
Kilman deserved a new deal for his rapid progress
Kilman has benefitted from the departure of Ruben Vinagre and Ryan Bennett in the summer. Nuno Santo has shifted Romain Saiss to a left wing-back role, thus opening up space for Kilman to slot into the left-hand side of the central defensive triumvirate.
The 23-year-old has looked every inch a Premier League defender in back-to-back clean sheets against Fulham and Leeds United, with Kilman even winning the man-of-the-match award for his composed display against the latter. Hence, the former England Futsal star finally seems to have evolved into a key squad player at Molineux.
It is very common to see players directly making the step up from the Championship to the Premier League, or even from League One to the top-flight, for that matter.
However, very rarely do we see players making a direct jump from the non-league arena to the Premier League without spending time on loan in the Football League system. Max Kilman is among a select few professionals to have made that almighty jump in recent years.
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To put things into perspective, Wolves’ decision to offer Kilman a new deal comes as a welcome boost to their long-term plans. It is a no-brainer that the centre-back deserved to be rewarded for his impressive development over the past two years.