Big things expected from Ronan
Award-winning podcast Wolves Fancast and 10-year season ticket holder Paul Lewis, give In The Stand Sport the lowdown on new signing Connor Ronan.
Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett made his first move of the transfer window, snapping up Wolverhampton Wanderers duo Connor Ronan and Sylvain Deslandes.
Sat in the Milton End, after a rather uninspiring second half against Scunthorpe, one player was the talk of the stand. On his home debut, Connor Ronan showed flashes of brilliance, putting in a man of the match performance that left Pompey fans wanting more.
But what do Pompey fans know about Connor Ronan? Asking around Fratton Park, I could only discover that he takes a cracking free-kick, and Kevin De Bruyne swapped shirts with him.
To evaluate Pompey’s new signing our friends at Wolves Fancast, and Paul Lewis reveals everything you need to know about Connor Ronan.
In The Stand Sport – Ronan’s technical ability stood out in a man of the match performance against Scunthorpe. What are his strengths Pompey fans should look out for?
Wolves Fancast – He’s a superb passer of the ball with excellent close control. He has an innate ability to play one step ahead of everyone on the pitch and is excellent on set pieces.
Paul Lewis – Ronan has great vision and a good footballing brain. Quick and direct, he is able to pick a pass short or long and has good distribution. Thin in statue and his boyish looks are deceiving he is not afraid to put in a tackle.
He is also good in delivering free kicks and corners. At the ripe age of 19, this boy has a bright future and will keep getting better the more he matures.
He very much has similarities to his counterpart Neves. He will add balance to your midfield and will chip in for some assists and the odd goal. A fantastic signing for you!
In The Stand Sport – Does he have any areas in his game you would like to see him improve on?
Wolves Fancast – Although he is stronger than he looks, he is diminutive and could be more powerful but it might take the guile out of his game.
It’s not his main requirement in a team, but if he could add goals to his game, it would take him to another level.
Paul Lewis – A loan move is desperately needed as Ronan has been on the fringes of the first team with just the odd cameo now and then. At this stage of his career, he needs regular game time this will benefit him.
The times I have seen he looks like a good all-rounder. It is just unfortunate for him the quality of central midfielders at our disposal with Neves, Romain Saiss and N’Diaye in our ranks his first-team chances have been restricted. It is difficult to say what he needs to improve on. He is in good hands with our former manager Kenny Jackett a manager I have a lot of time for who did well at Wolves. I am sure Kenny will mentor him well and provide him with that experience to make him an even better player. I look forward keeping tabs on him at Portsmouth.
In The Stand Sport – Ronan started at the weekend in an attacking centre midfield role behind the strikers. Do you feel this is his best position?
Wolves Fancast – The difficulty with Ronan is that he needs to nail down a position. In the senior team, he was played on the left. In the development squad, he played attacking midfield, but he feels his best position is central midfield where he can get on the ball more.
Paul Lewis – Yes an attacking central midfielder is his natural best position, he can also play on the wing or as an attacking right-sided player.
In The Stand Sport – What is Nuno Espirito Santo’s opinion of Ronan?
Wolves Fancast – Nuno was uneasy about loaning him our in the first half of the season as he thought he would learn more training at the club rather than put on loan.
There are only two positions he would fit into at Wolves right now and Diogo Jota and Ruben Neves play in them!
You feel Nuno sees potential in him but has struggled to find a place in the team.
Paul Lewis – Ronan is highly thought of by us Wolves fans and has a big future ahead of him. Scott Sellars the U23 coach rates Ronan where he has been U23 captain.
Since the age of 16, everyone at Wolves could see he would be a special player. I am not sure of Nuno’s opinion of him, as I have heard no interviews or media where he has discussed Ronan. I am confident that Nuno recognises what a good player he is. Ronan’s technical excellence will not go unnoticed, and he will have a big part to play for Wolves.
In The Stand Sport – Can you see him breaking into the 1st team with Rúben Neves playing?
Wolves Fancast – It will be tough for him and it was interesting Ronan went out on loan and another youngster is now Neves’s understudy in the squad. Ronan has a lot of potential and it would be a shame if he couldn’t break into the team.
Paul Lewis – Neves is the best midfielder I have ever seen in my lifetime, supporting Wolves. He is a class above the other midfielders in the Championship. I am sure that his presence and ability can only hope Ronan further.
It is obvious Ronan has the right ingredients to challenge him as he progresses further as a player. Injuries and suspensions will happen to Neves, so Ronan needs to be ready and waiting to grab his chance with both hands. When it does, with Dave Edwards and Jack Price now departed he is now higher in the pecking order and further chances will come. However, Romain Saiss Neves’s central midfield partner is strong holding midfielder who has done brilliantly this season. I cannot see things changing as it stands now. If Ronan keeps progressing like he does anything is possible!
In The Stand Sport – Kevin De Bruyne asked Ronan for his shirt after the game with Manchester City. How has Ronan looked for Wolves this season?
Wolves Fancast – He’s only featured in the Cup this season with more senior players ahead of him. When he’s played, he has looked bright and full of invention.
Paul Lewis – Yes that was a great moment when De Bruyne asked him for his shirt. His face was a picture! He had a great game against Man City when he came on as a substitute and almost set up the winner in 90 minutes to tee up Enobakhare who missed a 1 on 1 with the keeper. Man City struggled to deal with Ronan which is a credit to him.
Ronan’s first-team chances have been limited as he has not a great amount of game time this season. To rate his progression further a loan move is so important to him.
In The Stand Sport – What do Wolves fans want the loan move at Pompey to achieve?
Wolves Fancast – To show how good he can be. He didn’t look out of place in the Championship last season and stood out in a poor team when he played. League 1 will be a good testing ground for a run to get a run of a dozen games.
Paul Lewis – An agreement that will benefit us both, you now have one of the best midfielders in League One. Like I said before, he needs more game time and will come back a better, stronger player, full of confidence ready to challenge himself in the premiership. It is a win-win situation for all parties
In The Stand Sport – Wolves are looking superb this season and look like achieving promotion to the Premier Leauge. What is the chance of us getting him back on loan next season?
Wolves Fancast – If Jackett is still there, and you make a late promotion push then, maybe.
Paul Lewis – Yes we are it is exciting times for us, I guess this all depends on if we strengthen further in that area following promotion with better players. If this isn’t the case, he will have a part to play. If you go up to the championship, I cannot see a reason why he would not want to stay another season, if Nuno allows it!
In The Stand Sport – Is there anything else you can tell Pompey fans?
Wolves Fancast – Despite his appearance, he isn’t 14!
Paul Lewis – Yes, good luck for the rest of the season and I hope that you get promoted. You guys have had it bad since you dropped from the premiership you are a team with a big history and really hope that one day you will be back there along with us!
Many thanks to our friends at Wolves Fancast and Paul Lewis for their work on the article. Thanks again to Andrew Hurdle at Losing My Site for the photos.
Paul Lewis – @PaulDLewisUK
Andrew Hurdle Losing My Sight – @Hurdle88 @LosingMySightUK
Wolves Fancast – @WWFCFancast