This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
The transfer season is beginning to ramp up ahead of possible deals in January and one that might happen is Aurelio Buta to Wolves.
The right-back is the subject of interest from Nuno Santo per the print edition of The Sunday Mirror (17/11) and a loan move is reportedly on the cards.
Gaining some insight into the deal, Birmingham Live spoke to a journalist in Belgium.
Wolves still have a pretty slim squad but have worked wonders with what they’ve had in both of their campaigns in the top-flight.
Using 21 players last season, they finished seventh, reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup and qualified for Europe.
Matt Doherty was an inspiration last season, registering nine goal involvements, but he is yet to pick out a colleague in 2019/20. As such, a move for someone who can also play at right-wing back in Buta would make sense.
Speaking about his career and the qualities he possesses, journalist Aster Nzeyimana said:
“He’s one of the best full-backs in the Belgium league – that’s a widespread opinion.
“Antwerp is one of the biggest clubs in Belgium with a big fanbase. Their promotion to the first league was hugely anticipated and Aurelio Buta was one of the signings they made and he’s really grown with the squad. He was a very promising player and we immediately knew that.
“In the last two years he’s grown defensively, he has admitted that himself. He’s quite a small player but he’s technically very gifted. We have a history in Belgium of good attacking full-backs and he really fits right in. He’s instrumental to Antwerp.”
With Adama Traore’s emergence as a genuine reliable option in the final third, it leaves Wolves somewhat short on the right-hand side of defence.
The Spaniard started out the season in that part of the pitch due to an injury to Doherty but he has since gained a fantastic understanding with the forward players in a 3-4-3 formation.
Performing 11 dribbles against Aston Villa and scoring twice against Manchester City are the highlights but it would now be foolish to play him further back when he’s having such an influence in attacking phases.
With that in mind, bringing in someone who also possesses attacking flair to provide competition for Doherty would be incredibly valuable.
Recently scoring for the Republic of Ireland in a 1-1 draw with Denmark, he demonstrated that he might finally be finding his rhythm this season. He’d scored just once prior to the international break for Wolves.
Buta already has three assists for Royal Antwerp this term so there’s a reason to believe he could add precious quality. Having played at right-back and slightly further forward as a right-wing back, he’s the ideal type of candidate Wolves must be looking at.