This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
As Dani Olmo scored on his debut for Spain in a rout over Malta at the weekend, it was easy to recognise the grace and fluidity of a man who had come through Barcelona’s famous La Masia.
Now at Dinamo Zagreb, the creative midfielder has scored six times and also claimed six assists in just 17 outings throughout 2019/20.
However, if things had gone differently, he may well have been turning out for Wolves. The £27m-rated Spaniard was linked with a move to Molineux over the summer but nothing materialised as Nuno Santo instead opted for other options.
Pedro Neto was one of them, a transfer that would likely have been considerably cheaper than the man currently plying his trade in Croatia.
Olmo has been magnificent this term and simply earning his debut for Spain is a testament to that. A side graced with creativity in abundance, it’s no mean feat to work your way into La Rosa’s ranks.
But that’s what he’s managed to do amid links to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, Roma and AC Milan. If a potential move to Wolves was ever on the cards again, it seems difficult to think they’d be able to get it over the line given the pedigree of clubs now interested.
That isn’t the prime reason behind why Wolves should be feeling regret though.
Indeed, it’s because of his sheer quality, one that could have taken them on another level going forward.
Nuno Santo is quite a conservative coach when it comes to his midfield. Ruben Neves has played in deep-lying roles while Joao Moutinho isn’t a consistent goal threat, failing to score yet this season.
He’s still their prime creator, assisting three strikes in the Premier League, but when it comes to direct attacking midfielders, Morgan Gibbs-White is as good as it gets.
The 21-year-old Olmo continues to rise in stock and by missing out on him last summer, a chance of capturing one of the brightest prospects around disappeared.
For Spain at the weekend, he came on with 24 minutes left but still fashioned three shots on target as well as playing a key pass.
It was a glistening cameo that demonstrated some of the wonderful qualities he’s shown in this term’s Champions League too. He’s managed two shots per game, a tally that would put him third among Wolves’ players.
A dynamic talent, the opportunity to sign him may now have entirely passed.