Wolves could find themselves short on midfield options this summer with Leander Dendoncker reportedly available for transfer, while Ruben Neves could also be heading through the exit door with Barcelona keen on the Portuguese midfielder – who is viewed by the La Liga giants as the heir to Sergio Busquets.
With another key playmaker in Joao Moutinho expected to leave at the end of the season too upon the expiration of his contract, manager Bruno Lage could be forced into the transfer market to spend a hefty amount on replacements, who he will have to fast-track into the first team and help adapt to the Midlands as quick as possible.
Youngsters like Luke Cundle could also make the step up and become first-team regulars, but one player that could have helped the squad massively was homegrown Slovakian midfielder Christian Herc, who left permanently at the start of the season for Swiss side Grasshoppers.
Deemed surplus to requirements and not good enough for Lage’s plans, the then-22-year-old managed to secure himself a move to a top-flight European league in a team with a healthy connection to the Midlands club.
At Grasshoppers, based in Zurich, he has been joined by Wolves loanees Bendeguz Bolla, Bruno Jordao, Hayao Kawabe, Sang-bin Jeong and Leo Bonatini, as well as former centre-back Georg Margreitter, who played at Molineux between 2012 and 2015.
During his time under contract at the West Midlands club, he spent the second half of the 2017/18 season and the entirety of the 2018/19 campaign on loan in his homeland, before spending the next two seasons playing in Czech Republic, and during his first loan spell with DAC Dunajska Streda, he said: “I think I’ve developed in every way on the pitch.”
Now aged 23, he has averaged a 7.03 match rating according to SofaScore in the Swiss Super League, and has started 25 of the 26 games he has appeared in for the club this season, scoring three goals and assisting four more – becoming a key man for the club throughout this season, with just Mamadou Kaly Sene averaging a higher match rating in the Grasshoppers squad.
His impressive form this season has not only earned him his first cap for Slovakia, but has also shown exactly why Nuno Santo and then Lage should have given him more of a chance to impress, and even if he was still afterwards not part of either of their plans, the exposure to first-team Premier League football could have improved his £1.35m valuation.