The Championship Corner: Why Wolves need Neves to fire on all cylinders

Granted, there has been much turnaround in both players and management at Wolves in recent years.

The board have decided to go with a foreign manager, following Paul Lambert’s failure to propel the midlands club toward the playoffs last season. The man taking the reigns is the former Porto and Valencia boss Nuno Espirito Santo.


Can he deliver?

He clearly comes into the Championship with talent, it would be difficult to have got such prestigious jobs without it.

However, as we see so often in this weird and wonderful league, previous accolades is no guarantee of success in the division.

If he transfers the quality of coaching he delivered in Europe, then Wolves have got a very talented man at the helm.


Neves key

A big factor in Wolves’ potential success is the signing of Ruben Neves.

How he ended up at Wolves is bemusing (see our article on Neves’ transfer to understand exactly how it came about). But none the less, he is a Wolves player. The fee of £15M is a record, one you would think Wolves will be breaking again soon as their new owners try to force their way into the Premier League.

Along with Neves they’ve also enticed Willy Boly, Leo Bonatini and Diogo Jota from abroad (albeit on loan) from big European clubs.

To couple the young foreign talent, Santo has wisely acquired Bennett and Ruddy on free transfers from Norwich to add some experience into his new Wolves side, something that could be found wanting with an influx of european players.


Santo must adapt quickly

Whether or not Wolves can mount a promotion push relies on two major things to go in their favour.

The most obvious being that Santo adapts to the Championship and can showcase why he was given such prestigious European jobs at such a young age.

If he has a bad start and Wolves aren’t in and around the top 6 then you’d think it won’t take much for the board at Molineux to press the panic button.


Neves must fire on all cylinders

Secondly, whether Neves can shine. He is undoubtedly the most talented player in this division, you don’t captain Porto at 19 if you’re not.

One would assume if he starts ticking and dictates the game for Wolves, they’ll start to roll over teams. But, much like his gaffer, he must adapt quickly in order to achieve the immediate success the board crave.


Written by Dominic Mehlig

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