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’ pre-season preparations began in earnest on Wednesday lunchtime as they started where they left off in 2018/19.
The Midlands club were sensational last term after being promoted from the Championship, finishing in a Europa League place and they stated their intentions ahead of the new campaign with a 4-0 win over Newcastle in the Premier League Asia Trophy.
Nuno Santo’s men were essentially at full-strength besides the absent Matt Doherty and Raul Jimenez.
But throughout the match, the Wolves boss may have just solved a huge dilemma involving the latter already.
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It’s hard to look too much into pre-season matches but when you’re facing another Premier League outfit, it gives a better indication of what might play out in the top-flight over the next ten months.
Wolves’ start to pre-season will have come as a great comfort to their manager, especially with their first European qualifier looming next week.
It’s a quick turnaround for the black and gold but in Morgan Gibbs-White, they’ve solved a considerable dilemma after just one game.
Heading into the new season, loan enquiries had been made for the teenager but they were swiftly knocked with the notion that he’d be in the first-team picture again.
The 19-year-old struggled to make much of an impact last term, being subjected to just five league starts, claiming a solitary assist.
But with Jimenez not a part of the squad after his exploits in the Gold Cup for Mexico, Gibbs-White was afforded the opportunity to start in a more advanced role behind Diogo Jota.
Jimenez is unlikely to be able to play as big a part next season given the arduous campaign he endured in 2018/19, and there might have been fears over where the goals would come from aside from him and Jota.
In the video below, find out which former Chelsea star could be set to challenge Raul Jimenez as top dog at Wolves…
Indeed the Portuguese scored twice against Newcastle but Gibbs-White has now proven what he could do too, which may well just end the dilemma of whether Nuno can afford to rest Jimenez.
When the Mexican didn’t play last term, Wolves struggled, which was particularly evident in a 2-0 defeat against Burnley in March when the Mexico international started on the bench.
However, this was a Wolves side that didn’t look as though they missed their 17-goal forward, particularly because of how comfortable Jota and Gibbs-White looked going forward.
Although the club are just one game into pre-season, this should be seen as a major plus point.