This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Wolves haven’t been very active in the transfer market so far but earlier in the summer, Jeff Shi declared that they wanted to produce a good youth academy.
For a club who only used 21 players in the Premier League last term, it’s a method which could provide them with a number of refreshing players to pump into the first team to add depth.
Raul Jimenez’s extended rest means the likes of Niall Ennis and Bright Enobakhare could get their chance in attack over pre-season.
However, there’s another young individual in defence who is also set to receive game time.
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Among Wolves’ travelling party to China for the Premier League Asia Trophy will be Max Kilman, who according to Wolves Bite is assured of his seat on the plane.
The 22-year-old made his name as a left-back, featuring for Maidenhead on loan in that position during the 2017/18 campaign.
He started last season’s Premier League 2 Division 2 campaign in the same position but also featured at centre-back. That was an area of the pitch he played a solitary minute in after making his first team debut towards the end of 2018/19.
Yet, you sense there could be somewhat of an opening on the left-hand side of the pitch.
Ruben Vinagre kept Jonny on his toes at wing-back last season, but as Wolves gear up for a return to continental competition squad depth will be key.
As a result there could be opportunities for some role changes within the squad.
Jonny has previously played at right wing-back but it would still be a relatively new role to him at Wolves. However, considering Matt Doherty is the only credible option in that area, it might make sense if they were rotated in the Europa League.
Vinagre and Kilman could be left to vie for that remaining left spot, thus enabling Jonny to switch sides.
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Speaking recently, Kilman said: “I feel like I’m getting much stronger and more used to the tactical side of the game so it’s helping a lot. I think it’s taken quite a bit of time but I’m slowly starting to get better and understanding the role more, understanding what I’ve got to do.”
And it’s that adaptation that should stand him in good stead as he prepares for their tour of China.
Of course, he could still make his name as a centre-back, but boasting the versatility he does should certainly help.
Having played international football for the England futsal team, Kilman has certainly had an intriguing journey, but this could be the start of a breakthrough campaign.