The 20-year-old found the net twice as the club’s under-23s sealed a Premier League Cup win over Middlesbrough on Wednesday night.
Speaking to Wolves TV, Collins gave Cundle all the plaudits after his match-winning performance, saying: “I thought he was excellent tonight, he’s got his goals, but he was missing some as well, so I thought he could’ve got even more goals and I’ll be challenging him to do that.”
The under-23 boss hailed the starlet’s attitude for wanting to play for the reserves despite being called up to the first-team, revealing: “He texts me to ask if he can play and you don’t get that often with players who go up to the first-team.
“They’re not desperate to play for the under-23’s, but he just wants to play football. We could get a ball out now and have a five-a-side on the car park and he’d want a game, and when you’re a coach, you love players who are like that because they love the game.”
With Portuguese veteran Joao Moutinho – who hsa been slammed for some “rubbish” performances by Tim Spiers – linked with a move away from the Molineux, Bruno Lage may well be looking for an adequate replacement in the middle of the park.
The 20-year-old’s versatility is just one of the reasons that he has earned this comparison, with the Wolves youth product capable of operating as a central midfielder and even as a false nine, having occupied the role in a reserves game against Newcastle United.
Speaking after that match in mid-April, Collins said: “We took a little risk with the change of shape and the ‘false nine’ with no centre-forward. We played Luke [Cundle] up there, ‘Phil Foden-esque’, and I thought he played really well.”
Lage knows all about the Molineux youngster, having raved about his first-team performance against Spurs in mid-February by saying: “Maybe Luke [Cundle] can be a key man because it allows us to play with four midfielders. He was there against top players playing like he is in the playground.”
Having achieved eight goal contribution for Wolves’ under-23s this season, Cundle poses more of an attacking threat than Moutinho, who has registered an underwhelming average of 0.6 shots per game, with two goals and one assist to his name this season.
Promoting the 20-year-old starlet to the first team on a more regular basis would duly enable Lage to let the veteran midfielder bring the curtain down on his time in the Black Country, particularly with his contract expiring over the summer.