Wolves playmaker Kevin McDonald was today told he is ready-made for the Premier League.
The 25-year-old has been at the heart of Wolves’ successful push for the League One title this season and is set to figure heavily in the fans’ Player of the Year voting along Carl Ikeme, Sam Ricketts and Danny Batth.
Kenny Jackett’s side are preparing for next season in the Championship but McDonald’s midfield team-mate Dave Edwards reckons the tall Scot is already top-flight quality.
“I can’t believe we got him at the price we did (£250,000), it’s an absolute snip,” said Edwards.
“He’s a Premier League player - you see him in training, he’s got everything.
“He’s very comfortable on the ball, he’s aggressive, he’s a good size and he’s nimble on his feet as well.
“When he gets the ball people think they’re going to tackle him and all of a sudden he takes two big strides and he’s away from them and in on their back four.
“He’s been a key player for us. It was good business by the gaffer and he’s happy here as well, and he’s another who can rise with the club.”
Edwards believes McDonald, who was voted by managers as the third-best player in League One this season after Adam Forshaw and Alex Pritchard, will feature among the contenders for Wolves’ Player of the Year.
“He would be up there for player of the year for me,” said Edwards.
“He’s been so consistent. For me, you look at him, Danny Batth and Carl Ikeme.
“But everyone’s played their part in a great season.”
Head coach Jackett believes McDonald is ready for the Championship.
“He’s been one of our best players and it will be a big challenge for him like all of us,” said the boss.
“He should be excited by it and shouldn’t underestimate it because it will be a hard one.
“But he should have a high level of motivation to try to prove himself at the next level.
“He’s certainly proved himself at League One level, but now that step up is what he needs, to rise to it.”
Jackett has urged McDonald to continue to work in the gym to maximise his talent.
“It’s an ongoing process; I’ve always seen him as a natural footballer but he has to work at his physical conditioning,” said Jackett.
“If you look at the physical conditioning of the top-level players, it’s fantastic.
“And that will help his undoubted football ability if he has aspirations to improve, which he does.”