Wolves boss Nuno Santo has made it very clear that he wants to make additions to his squad during the current transfer window, and with Patrick Cutrone’s confirmed departure, it surely makes that need increase tenfold.
The Athletic’s Tim Spiers has provided a crucial update over their plans.
The west Midlanders have stunted in the Premier League in recent weeks, failing to record a victory in their last three games, losing twice in the same run.
Then you have to throw in the possibility of advancing in the FA Cup, their replay against Manchester United is later this week while there is also the imminent matter of the Europa League knockout stages.
If Wolves want to compete on all fronts, then they will almost certainly need to bolster their playing squad, but January is often a difficult path to manoeuvre.
“The Athletic understands that Wolves want — and expect — to sign two forward players this month.
“They will either be on loan or for a decent fee but, given that Wolves spent the best part of £100 million in the summer, the wallet is not bottomless. FFP dictates that — as does Fosun being an investment firm not prone to throwing money at a situation.
“Elsewhere on the pitch, the form of Leander Dendoncker and Romain Saiss, neither of whom were considered first-choice defenders at the start of the season, has shifted opinion on whether a new centre-half is needed, as well as the emergence of Max Kilman to join Ryan Bennett as a back-up. Willy Boly’s return from injury is imminent.
“That will see Dendoncker or Saiss become an option in midfield again, with the returns from injury of Morgan Gibbs-White and Bruno Jordao giving enough cover behind Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho, meaning forwards are the only priority this month.”
It appears as if Wolves – and Nuno’s – focus has been averted away from adding defensive options to the squad and onto the attack instead.
There’s no hiding from the fact that they only have one senior striker in Raul Jimenez, who appears to have somewhat suffered from burnout in recent matches – no surprise given just how many games he’s played in the past year. It’s well over 50.
Behind the likes of Adama Traore, Pedro Neto and Diogo Jota, there’s very little to speak for either, so it would be a wise move to get someone in, maybe that can play anywhere across the front three like this week’s linked target Jarrod Bowen.
But that shouldn’t stop them from bolstering their defence as it’s proving to be their most problematic area this campaign.
Wolves have kept just one clean sheet in 14 league matches, and that was to Manuel Pellegrini’s struggling West Ham side, he’s since been sacked.
Call yourself a Wolves expert? How much did each of these January signings cost?
Willy Boly will be back in the next month, but he’ll be far from match fit, and they shouldn’t continue to trust central midfielders in the back three as it isn’t their natural position – that run above certainly hints towards it being a big issue.
Nuno should be looking at a forward as well as a defender over the next two weeks.