This was a difficult summer for Wolverhampton Wanderers. They lost Nuno Santo early on due to a rift over recruitment and it’s probably just as well he left.
The Portuguese had been informed by Jeff Shi and co that he’d have to operate in a market that revolved around loan deals.
Bruno Lage, however, was keen to come to the Premier League and has worked duly with what he’s been given at Molineux.
Trincao arrived from Barcelona and South Korean speedster Hwang-hee Chan was also signed on a temporary basis from RB Leipzig.
Both players are eye-catching additions but beyond that, there was little to shout about in the market.
The Old Gold came into the final day of the window looking as though they’d sign the latter. They were in talks with Lille over landing the midfielder on a loan deal before paying to sign him next summer.
However, with the 23-year-old injured and a disagreement over the future fee, a deal fell through.
It was a gut-wrenching blow for the club who were keen to bring in one of the most promising central players in Europe.
Sanches’ previous spell in the Premier League with Swansea had been unsuccessful but he’s come on leaps and bounds since moving to French football.
He was involved in four goals throughout the league campaign and was tantalising with the ball at his feet.
Yet, they shouldn’t be too disheartened about missing out on Sanches. After all, Lage may already have Wolves’ very own Renato lying within their ranks.
That happens to be Chem Campbell, the new darling of the Wolves academy.
Of course, he’s not at the level that Sanches currently is but his future at Molineux and in the game, in general, is huge.
Writing in that piece, Paul Doyle said: “He is a skilful, direct dribbler with a knack for bursting forward from central midfield.”
That reminds us of Sanches, a skilful ball carrier who is capable of dragging his team up the pitch.
Campbell became the second-youngest player to feature for Wolves at senior level when he played in the Carabao Cup back in 2019/20.
He’s not played a first-team game since but has taken part in the EFL Trophy, gaining regular football against senior professionals.
The teenager is one of the most vibrant players in the academy and a glowing review from former U18 boss Steve Davis says a lot: “[He can] go as far as he wants in the game,” Davis began.
“He can produce things out of nothing.
“Defensively he’s got work to do in terms of his responsibilities but with the ball he can create things just with his skill. He catches the eye.”
Campbell has a long way to go before he becomes a regular part of the furniture at Molineux but the midfielder has plenty of potential.
After missing out on Sanches, Lage should look to unearth it.