Joao Moutinho has been brilliant this season. Signed for a bargain price of £5m, he’s been one of the best additions this term and his performances have typified the fight Wolves have had in 2018/19.
They’ve been stylish and hard-working, two attributes that describe Moutinho perfectly. But in a game which so nearly saw Liverpool win the title, the midfielder failed to find the inspiration capable of helping Wolves to yet another victory over a top-six side.
Fortunately, this was a game with nothing riding on it for Nuno Santo’s men. They’d already wrapped up seventh place so there was merely pride at stake.
However, Moutinho’s display gave an indication of potentially what’s to come next term. It’s been a long season for the club and with a slim squad, that looked to take its toll last Sunday afternoon.
Liverpool’s midfield dominated Barcelona last week in the Champions League and this was the same story against Wolves.
Next season, the Portuguese winner will be 33. At that age, you have to wonder whether he’d be to play the 44 matches he has this season. If you add European football to that, the weight only becomes even larger.
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His tired display, which was evident in losing possession twice, shows why the club must find more depth next season.
It’s been a lingering problem throughout much of the second half of the campaign, and after the club lost against Watford in the FA Cup semi-final there were question marks over how small the squad was.
Wolves have been reliant on Moutinho and Ruben Neves in midfield for much of the season but that’ll have to change next term. At some point they’ll need a rest, but if they can find other players to replace them in certain games then they could do even better in 2019/20.