Wolves boss Kenny Jackett today admitted he has never seen new-boy Kortney Hause play – but backed him to star as “a modern-day centre-half”.
The 18-year-old stopper has signed a two-and-a-half year deal after an undisclosed fee was agreed with Wycombe late last Friday on transfer-deadline day.
The speed of the deal took head coach Jackett by surprise as he had told the media just over 24 hours earlier that there would be no further signings.
“It was true – I definitely said that, and as I said it, I believed it,” said Jackett.
“Then I went upstairs and Kevin Thelwell (head of football development) told me we had a chance to sign Kortney Hause. I haven’t actually seen Hause play but Kevin and Stuart Webber (head of recruitment) have. I went home by 5pm on transfer deadline day, then I got the ‘hook’ to come back to meet the new signing! It’s lucky I live locally! That transfer did develop very, very late.”
Hause, who completed his scholarship at Birmingham after being released from West Ham at 16 following several years in their school of excellence, made 31 appearances for Wycombe after making his debut in November, 2012.
Jackett is convinced he is going to push for a first-team place at Molineux.
“He’s 19 in the summer and has a real good stamp about him and is left-footed, so it will be an interesting one now to see how he develops,” he said. “He’s a big lad – his assets are his strength and his pace – and he’s got the physique of a modern day centre-half. And being left-footed gives you balance all of the time.
“But he’s one for the future – he’s not one we think will immediately go into our first-team.”
Hause is set for his Wolves debut in tomorrow’s visit of Reading in the Under-21s Premier League Cup at AFC Telford (7pm).
And with no immediate plans to open talks with Richard Stearman, who is out of contract at the end of the season, Hause could stake an early claim for a first-team place.