Last summer, Sunderland had to find a new goalkeeper. Jordan Pickford had just completed a £25 million move to Everton and Vito Mannone headed to Reading. With Portuguese forgotten man Mika also released, the new Black Cats boss Simon Grayson needed recruits.
He ended up bringing in both Jason Steele and Dutch stopper Robbin Ruiter. The Dutchman arrived from FC Utrecht in a free transfer. He started the season on the bench, before eventually taking over from the out-of-sorts Steele.
However, he hardly impressed in the sticks for Sunderland. Eventually, he suffered a fractured finger in February that ended his season prematurely.
This summer, Sunderland brought in Scottish stopper Jon McLaughlin on a free transfer and he has swiftly established himself as the number one.
Whilst Ruiter has put in some impressive displays in the EFL Trophy, he has largely been used as back-up.
Current third-choice Max Stryjek is now impressing on loan at Eastleigh and Sunderland boss Jack Ross admitted recently that he hopes to hand the Polish stopper a contract extension.
For Ruiter, it seems the end might be near. The 31-year-old is out of contract in the summer and Stryjek is looking capable of taking over as the second choice next season.
Ruiter can start discussing a free transfer move with other teams from January and he would be wise to start doing so.