Wolverhampton Wanderers failed to bounce back from their Wembley disappointment as they were beaten 3-1 by Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday.
Matt Doherty has been a regular in the starting XI at right wing-back throughout the campaign, and that was where he found himself once again on the south coast.
The 27-year-old was replaced by Adama Traore on the hour-mark as they went in search of an equaliser, and one Wolves supporter on Twitter believes that the Republic of Ireland international should be tested out in a box-to-box central midfield role instead.
I would play Doherty in the Doncks role, box to box wins headers and tackles. Play Jonny in his more natural role on the right and bring in Vinagre. There has to be a place for Vinagre. We need a defender like @lewisdunk bring him in.
— Reggae Wolves ? ?? (@ReggaeWolves) April 13, 2019
Doherty would certainly be suited to the role in some ways because of the attributes he has in his game.
He is athletic, energetic and two of his biggest successes in the Premier League this season have been his tally of tackles and interceptions – he averages 1.8 of the former and 1.5 of the latter per game according to WhoScored.
He also has an eye for goal too as he showed in FA Cup semi-final, which would stand him in good stead if he was arriving late into the penalty area in a new role.
The first one would certainly be losing his threat from out wide.
Yes, Jonny and Ruben Vinagre could be given roles on the flanks, but Doherty has proven to be so effective from both a defensive and an offensive point of view this term.
He was certainly missed at the back for Southampton’s third goal on Saturday, with his replacement Traore playing Saints players onside by being positioned about three yards deeper than all of his teammates.
In addition, he hasn’t really proved that he has that eye for a pass that would be needed to unlock defences on a consistent basis.
While it is certainly an interesting idea put forward, Wolves need a specialist box-to-box player next season if they really want to push on.
Watch a Wolves fan’s incredible rant on Adama Traore in the video below…
That will likely mean a new signing in the summer, and someone who should be guaranteed to fill the role better than Doherty ever would.
As we mentioned previously, the 27-year-old is a big part of the west Midlands outfit’s side from out wide, and he needs to be out on that right flank to supply the likes of Raul Jimenez.