The Chalkboard: Gibbs-White’s World Cup campaign shows Nuno where to play him

Wolves have a number of top talents coming through at the moment but none are better than attacking midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White.

The 19-year-old played a part in 26 Premier League matches this term, but only five of them were starts.

Given his quality, it’s an alarming stat, especially if you consider the fact he’s been relied upon to play in a deeper role for much of the season.

Wolves’ system doesn’t particularly lend itself to the midfielder but next campaign they must find a way to get the best out of him. To do that, they can look towards his displays at the U17 World Cup when England were victorious back in 2017.

On the chalkboard

Gibbs-White has rarely played in his favoured attacking midfield position for Wolves and as such, Nuno Santo has been making a mistake with his selection.

At the U17 World Cup, the 5 ft 10 teenager only made brief cameos in the first two matches against both Chile and Mexico. However, he grew into the tournament phenomenally well.

It was against Iraq in the final group game that we got our first true glimpse of the youngster. Playing from central midfield, he played a terrific hand late on, coming off the bench to play the final 30 minutes.

But it wasn’t until the quarter-finals that he started at the tournament for the first time. Against the USA, he played directly behind the striker and managed to find the back of the net.

He then scored in the final too, essentially playing as a forward for much of the second half next to Rhian Brewster. For his goal, he made an intelligent movement into the six-yard box before finishing with ease from Steve Sessegnon’s cross. The timing of his run was impeccable.

His attacking qualities were on show and it’s something we’ve only caught small sightings of for his club side. As a result, Wolves should take a leaf out of Steve Cooper’s book and play him where he can actually influence proceedings.

Raul Jimenez is turning it on for Wolves and Mexico right now! He definitely deserves the song in the video below…

Gibbs-White has a tendency to occupy pockets of space before moving forward with the ball and playing short passes in behind. It’s something that’s seen him link up well with Raul Jimenez at times in 2018/19 and also with Brewster at the U17 World Cup.

Therefore, if Nuno can move him closer to the Mexican and Diogo Jota, it could prove devastating next term.