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Wolves: Lage could unearth Moutinho replacement in Puig

Wolves are looking at the possibility of taking a player from Barcelona this summer with a new face touted with a move to Molineux in the next few months.

What’s the news?

Spanish midfielder Riqui Puig, once heralded as the “next Iniesta” could now be included in the permanent sale of forward Adama Traore to the Catalan club according to the Birmingham Mail.

Could Puig replace Moutinho at Wolves?

Yes, he has huge potential!

Yes, he has huge potential!

No, he hasn't shown enough yet!

No, he hasn't shown enough yet!

With his contract expiring in a year and having had little playing time this season, Puig is one of the players Barcelona will be hoping to offload from their wage bill, particularly with the likes of homegrown trio Nico, Pedri and Gavi all moving ahead in the pecking order.

Moutinho successor

Joao Moutinho’s contract at Wolves is set to expire at the end of the season, but there is still a possibility that it will be extended due to manager Bruno Lage’s fondness of the player – which he expressed in a recent interview.

“I hope so,” Lage replied after being asked whether the midfielder would sign a new deal.

“Yesterday in training he scored an amazing goal and I said to him, ‘If you score a goal like that on Saturday you will be my assistant! Don’t go anywhere, you will be my assistant!’

“As his manager, I’m really happy with him, with his performances and the way he works every day.”

However, should the Portuguese maestro turn down a new contract extension offer, Wolves reportedly may look to Puig, who has started just one La Liga game this season.

Although the La Masia graduate would likely be used as not much more than a sweetener in the Adama deal, it would likely represent great value for money upon arrival – as he is currently rated at just £8.1m by Transfermarkt.

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Can you guess which Wolves player scored the most goals in all competitions during the season in question? Let's start with 2010/11...

With that in mind, then, he’d be an incredibly cost-effective way of eventually replacing Moutinho.

With a passing accuracy of 94% as well as a long pass accuracy of 91% this season in the Spanish top flight, it’s clear to see that Puig is a midfielder who is comfortable in possession and able to dictate the tempo of play.

That’s an area of the game that the 35-year-old Wolves veteran thrives in too, successfully completing 85.9% of his own passes in 2021/22. That means the Barca youngster would surely be an excellent heir to the Portugal international’s midfield throne, despite needing to improve offensively.

He has scored just one senior goal and contributed zero assists for the first team, showing he has plenty of work to do on the attacking end if he is to become an immediate success in the Midlands.

The potential Puig possesses is high, however, and with the signing being low-risk, Wolves could reap the rewards for years to come should they give him a chance.

In other news: Wolves could have their new Jimenez in rarely-seen 17 y/o who scores “poacher’s goals”