The word ‘depth’ must torment Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters.
Ever since Nuno Santo became the manager of Wolves, they have had limited options at their disposal in the senior team.
At the beginning of the summer, Nuno admitted that the Old Gold needed to plan better ahead of the 2021/22 season after a number of injuries left them extremely short in a plethora of positions last term.
To put it simply, signing more first-team bodies was a necessity.
However, after a rift over recruitment with the club’s ownership, he packed his belongings, handed in his resignation and was subsequently replaced by Bruno Lage.
After his arrival, Wolves signed five senior players but only three of them were permanent acquisitions.
On that basis, they haven’t really improved their depth. Owen Otasowie headed for Belgium and Morgan Gibbs-White has joined Sheffield United on loan for the season.
This was supposed to be the latter’s most important campaign at Wolves yet but despite scoring in the Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest, he was told to head elsewhere for a year.
Nuno tried integrating him at the back end of last season and he did score a vitally important goal against Brighton.
Crucially, however, he’s hit the ground running at Bramall Lane. He’s scored twice in his first two Championship outings and claimed an assist, showing what Lage is missing.
With options in the middle of the park pretty slim for the new manager, players waiting in the fringes could be handed more opportunities.
That starts with Bruno Jordao, a man who hasn’t been seen in a Wolves shirt since a six-minute cameo on the final day of the 2019/20 season.
When he last played for them, a global pandemic wasn’t even in our minds, neither was the thought of Nuno leaving.
However, with an injury plaguing much of his debut campaign in the Midlands, he joined Famalicao on loan last term.
In the process, Jordao played 11 times and was involved in two goals before another injury ended his campaign.
He hasn’t played a match in the entire of 2021 after undergoing surgery to repair a serious issue that he sustained in January.
However, Lage confirmed that the midfielder is now back running and could be ready to make an impact in the coming months.
For a player John Ruddy described as “very smooth”, it’s a timely return after Gibbs-White’s temporary departure.
The manager has also hinted at handing the 22-year-old an opportunity: “I saw him play last season at Famalicao, but the best thing to know the players is day by day and in training,” Lage began.
“He’s a young player with ambition and it will be good for me to see him play. He’s still recovering. He’s made another good step and he is working.”
With options few and far between in the senior side, Wolves must unleash him once he’s ready.