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Wolverhampton Wanderers appear to be gearing up for a club first this January as Nuno Santo looks to make substantial improvements to his squad in the transfer window.
Since Fosun took ownership of the club in the summer of 2016, the west Midlands outfit have very rarely splashed the cash during the winter window, but that is something that needs to change this time around.
In the last two years, Wolves have only really added young striker Rafa Mir which cost the club approximately €2m (£1.7m) – if you exclude Jonny’s loan move being made permanent as he was already at the club.
Nuno likes to operate a small, tight-knit squad as evident last season in the Premier League as only 19 players were primarily used as they finished in a historic seventh place.
Now they are competing in the Europa League with one foot already in the knockout stages as they possess a five-point cushion, vying for another crack at the top six domestically, and have the FA Cup soon on the horizon.
This sort of schedule means it is likely that their squad depth will be tested, and that’s even ignoring any potential injuries.
Birmingham Live revealed that the club are keen on signing both a central midfielder and a centre-back in January, which is likely to be heightened after the injury suffered to Willy Boly and Leander Dendoncker’s subsequent move into defence.
Wolves have been linked to several players in both areas, such as Ruben Dias (O Jogo per Sport Witness) and Dejan Kulusevski, but those in charge will need to change their attitudes towards the January transfer window if they are to make such improvements to the squad.
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The back-up spot to Rui Patricio may become available in the summer as John Ruddy’s contract expires while Matt Doherty lacks defensive competition at right wing-back, so there are plenty of reasons to get spending in a couple of months.
If the west Midlands club want to elevate onto the next level, then transfer activity in January needs to become the norm – £180m was spent last year in the Premier League while £430m was forked out the year before.
Wolves have accounted for less than £2m of that £610m total. That has got to change.