Joleon Lescott may or may not one day become a player good enough to rank alongside the likes of Billy Wright, Bill Slater, Johnny Hancocks and Steve Bull as a Wolverhampton Wanderers 'great'.
But that will not happen as long as Wolves remain a Championship outfit. And, should they fail to win promotion under Glenn Hoddle this season, and Lescott is tempted to try his luck in the top flight, then they at least yesterday assured themselves of adequate compensation.
The signing of Lescott on a new, improved twoanda-half year contract, to replace the existing agreement which was due to expire in June 2007, is a compromise all round.
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Wolves have had to improve the 23-year-old Birmingham-born defender's terms to keep him. But had they let his contract run down - the risk they have taken with their other prize asset Kenny Miller - they could have ended up losing him for nothing in 20 months' time.
Chief executive Jez Moxey's latest smart piece of business has effectively added a few 'noughts' to the transfer fee should Lescott move sooner rather than later.
Not that anyone at Wolves is thinking anything other than positively, despite the sudden loss of form that has seen Hoddle's misfiring side pick up one point in three games.
"We're delighted Joleon has committed his future to us," said Moxey.
"Now we hope we can help him fulfil his ambition of getting into the top flight."
Hoddle was even more emphatic that both club and player have done the right thing.
"Jo has always wanted to stay here," said Hoddle. "But his agent needed to negotiate the right deal, we bridged the gap and now we have a positive outcome.
"He's a good player and, if he keeps learning, he can become a great one."
"I needed to be sure the club has the same ambitions as my own," said Lescott. "And they've convinced me they have.
"It was flattering to see my name linked to some big clubs but it was just speculation. I want to play top flight football with Wolves. And I think we can still win promotion this season." n Wolves have lined up cover for the potential loss of Jackie McNamara by bringing in former Rangers right-back Maurice Ross on a week's trial.
McNamara is awaiting the outcome of a specialist's verdict on the injured knee that has kept him out for the last month.
If he is told he must go under the surgeon's knife, Wolves will be looking for cover, and Ross is the first name on their list of targets.
Ross, aged 24, was the man who kept Kevin Muscat on the sidelines when he moved from Wolves to Rangers four summers ago.
After losing his place under Alex McLeish, he was allowed to join Sheffield Wednesday in August. But he has started just two games for the Owls, both of them defeats.