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Wolves’ boss Nuno Santo must call on Pedro Neto as European strain is felt

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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 were under par on Sunday afternoon, needing last gasp penalty heroics from Raul Jimenez to ensure their unbeaten start to the season rumbled on.

It means Wolves have drawn three straight Premier League games but in their latest showing, they weren’t quite at the races – which is understandable considering it was their third game in less than a week having played Manchester United on Monday as well as making a trip to Italy to face Torino.

Nuno Santo only made five changes to his side, meaning the likes of Conor Coady, Willy Boly, and Jimenez played every single game during the week.

It is about time he started to trust more of his fringe players and youth stars on that basis.

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One player who has performed every time he’s been given an opportunity so far this season is Pedro Neto – signed from Braga after a loan spell in Serie A with Lazio last season.

On his Wolves debut, he scored and assisted Morgan Gibbs-White’s first professional goal for the club and on Sunday, Neto came on for the final 23 minutes and made an impact.

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The 19-year-old recorded one dribble, playing for the first time in a central attacking midfield role, which was the same as Gibbs-White and Joao Moutinho despite limited time on the pitch.

Gibbs-White was slated by supporters and therefore, Neto could be a preferred option going forward after an unconvincing display.

He registered a 78.6% passing success rate, higher than most of the starting cast of players including Ruben Neves (74.7%), Diogo Jota (77.3%) and Matt Doherty (74.3%).

It was the first time this season that Wolves showed any signs of a European hangover which suggests that it could finally be starting to have an impact on the squad.

They have the return fixture against Torino to face later this week before yet another Premier League game next weekend.

As a result, the Portuguese boss has to begin to trust his side in order to make the most out of a campaign both domestically and in Europe.

A player like Neto was signed specifically to add depth after losing Helder Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro so it’s now time he plays a bigger role.

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Article title: Wolves’ boss Nuno Santo must call on Pedro Neto as European strain is felt

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