Former Wolverhampton Wanderers Star Wanted By League Two Side

Salford City are discussing a deal with former Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Louie Moulden, following his release from the club this summer, as per Football Insider.

The 22-year-old is on the radar of the League Two side who finished 20th in the last campaign, the club’s worst recorded finish in the EFL to date. Following a season of bitter disappointment, Salford are in the market for a complete overhaul in the goalkeeper position, after first-choice option last season Alex Cairns rejoined Leeds United earlier this week.

Moulden, who started his development at Manchester City as a youngster caught, Wolves’ attention, who snapped him up in 2021 following a series of strong performances within the England youth set-up. The Wanderers loaned him out to several non-eague clubs since then, including Ebbsfleet United, Solihull Moors and Rochdale, before recalling him from the latter in January of this year, to make the step up to the EFL with League One side Northampton Town.

The Englishman made 12 appearances in the second half of the campaign for the Cobblers, keeping two clean sheets. However, the progression of the keeper’s career began a year earlier, in a loan move to the aforementioned Rochdale.

Moulden impressed in his time at the club, recording a staggering four assists, helping the Mancunian side stay within the race for the National League play-offs. Nevertheless, a disappointing second half of the campaign saw them slip to 11th, which some could argue was spearheaded by the recall of the shot-stopper.

If he was to sign, the Moulden would become Salford’s sixth signing, following the exceptional bits of business the club have done already this summer, including getting Callum Morton on loan from Northampton, as well as former Burton Albion striker Cole Stockton on a free transfer.

This, and much more is needed at The Peninsula if the club want to push on for a top-half finish, something they successfully managed to achieve in four of the last 5 campaigns that they’ve been in the fourth tier.

Writer’s View

It seems as though Moulden made too big of a step up in January, as coming into League One had a massive impact on his distribution. For Rochdale at the start of the 2023/24 season, the keeper recorded an average pass percentage of 83%, with 34.3 successful passes a game. However, when he made the switch to the third tier, that percentage came down to 42% as he made merely 12.9 passes on average.

Clubs up and down the country are becoming more keen to play out from the back, no matter where they’re placed in the English pyramid, hence the importance of goalkeepers being comfortable with the ball at their feet. The vast swing in the percentages could be down to the fact there’s less emphasis on a press in the National League, giving teams more chance to pick their passes.

Now, it’s obvious that football is played on the pitch, and not on a computer screen full of percentages and numbers, but it’s important to note these factors considering the amount of scouting nowadays that is driven by data and analytics. Nonetheless, Moulden has shown his class in non-league on more occasions than necessary to get a move into the EFL, which is why Salford City could be a key step in his development.

The Ammies currently don’t have a senior goalkeeper on their books, so bringing the youngster in will be at the top of the priority list for manager Karl Robinson as he looks to kick-start his first full season in charge. The signing also makes sense for the player geographically as he grew up in Bolton and had stints at clubs in Manchester, so settling into the area wouldn’t be an issue.

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