According to Teamtalk, Wolves are set to make a renewed effort to sign Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof this summer after Jose Mourinho rejected their approach last year, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer surely keen to rebuild his entire back line in the coming months.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have had a sensational returning season in the Premier League, with an unprecedented seventh-placed finish at their fingertips, although there are still some notable improvements that could be made in order to take them to the next level.
The Molineux Stadium outfit have already secured the services of Raul Jimenez on a permanent basis – a move which ensures they will retain their fearsome strike partnership next campaign – but a top quality centre-back would go a long way in separating them from the likes of Leicester and Watford, who will be equally keen to become the ‘best of the rest’.
What are the potential consequences of a shock Wolves swoop for Lindelof?
Conor Coady’s stellar displays in defence have made him an outside shot for the England squad, while Willy Boly has gone from strength to strength this term, so there is only player in Wolves’ three-man defence who can realistically give way for Lindelof: Ryan Bennett.
The 29-year-old is currently a glaring weak-link in an otherwise near-faultless side and he is surely the man who will suffer from the former Benfica man’s arrival in the Midlands. Bennett will remain a useful squad player but the Red Devils defender would be an enormous upgrade.
At 24-years-old, Lindelof, valued at £31.5 million by Transfermarkt, has plenty of room to grow, too, and could shape the Wolves back line for the next decade.
Both Romain Saiss and Leander Dendoncker are capable of being deployed in a three-man defence or as defensive midfielders, although Lindelof’s arrival would see the duo feature far more regularly as the latter.
Belgian Dendoncker, in particular, has the legs and all-round play to succeed in such a role in the long-term, striking up a formidable partnership with Portuguese pairing Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho that will make Wolves’ midfield near unbeatable.
A combative display against Watford at the weekend showed that the 24-year-old Anderlecht man is best placed further afield than alongside Coady and Boly, where he can break up play, win the ball back and find the likes of Diogo Jota making runs in behind or lay it off quickly.
Wolves’ record against the top six is impeccable – last term’s Championship winners boast victories against United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool (cup) and Spurs – although they sometimes falter when faced with lesser opposition.
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This is partly due to their effectiveness on the counter – an aspect of their game they rely on much more against the top sides, as, when other teams play that way against them, they are forced to enjoy more possession and that can leave them exposed.
Lindelof’s arrival would mean Wolves have a player who can play out of defence with ease and is willing to carry it into midfield to pull strings if need be – this would make them far more of a threat to the teams who have to fight for every single point and thus make their pursuit of Europa League football much simpler.
Perhaps they could even challenge the top six.