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Lage could unearth Wolves’ next Jonny in Richards

With Marcal’s pending departure from Molineux, it’s unlikely Wolves manager Bruno Lage would be on the search for a potential replacement – given that Rayan Ait Nouri and Jonny Otto will be the club’s two left-back choices next season bar any changes in the summer.

However, with Ki-Jana Hoever falling out of favour with manager Bruno Lage, amid attitude concerns, and Nelson Semedo’s poor injury record, a chance could open up next season for Irish defender Lewis Richards, who is currently on-loan at Harrogate Town.

Despite being a natural centre-back, he was deployed as an attacking left-wing-back on Tuesday against Tranmere, and despite ending up on the losing team, the 20-year-old impressed, earning a 7.1 match rating from SofaScore for his solid performance.

Could Richards replace Marcal next season in the Wolves squad?

Yes, Lage will appreciate his versatility!

Yes, Lage will appreciate his versatility!

No, he needs another loan move!

No, he needs another loan move!

Richards made an impressive six tackles for his team, as well as winning eight of his nine ground duels and half of his aerial duels too, in addition to making two clearances, one interception and 75% of his passes being completed as well. Evidently, he is busy and industrious, qualities that Jonny brings to Lage’s side in abundance.

After making his debut for Harrogate against Oldham at the end of January, assistant manager Paul Thirwell was full of praise for the on-loan Wolves youngster, who has since made a further five appearances for the club.

“I thought Lewis was fantastic,” said Thirlwell. “I think it helped us that it’s a position he is used to playing for Wolves. He dropped in there seamlessly. He was aggressive with his defending and composed on the ball.”

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Meanwhile, Wolves’ former Sporting Director Kevin Thelwall has also publicly praised the youngster, saying a few years ago: “Lewis [Richards] in my opinion is a guy who’s been improving game on game, week on week, to the point he’s now surpassing the under-18s and getting opportunities in the under-23s.

“He’s a very technical player who’s got the ability to pass the ball and start off play and help us to build out from the back, but also then very capable physically.”

Similar to Max Kilman as well, Richards is well suited to playing on the left side of the back three, and should he impress in pre-season, he could well provide cover in that position, and the left-wing back spot which Marcal will be giving up this summer.

In other news: Big worry: Lage heading for Wolves blunder over “undroppable” £27m-rated brute

Article title: Lage could unearth Wolves’ next Jonny in Richards

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