Wolves are moving closer to appointing a new manager after Nuno Espirito Santo decided to leave Molineux behind.
It’s thought that only a work permit hearing stands in the way of Jorge Mendes client Bruno Lage becoming the new permanent boss, and the Old Gold have been smart in moving so quickly to find a replacement with the transfer window coming up – but have they been too swift in doing so?
Wolves have had a number of successors to Nuno in mind for a while now, so it may just be a case of knowing what they want. Jeff Shi and Fosun haven’t just considered those attached to Mendes, either.
The Athletic claimed that both Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have been considered by the Wolves hierarchy. The former Chelsea would seem a good addition for the sake of the young players coming through in the Midlands but it’s hard to dismiss the ex-Liverpool captain either.
The 41-year-old is currently in charge of Rangers, where he has masterminded a remarkable revival for the Light Blues. Celtic were vying for a tenth successive Premiership crown this season but were absolutely demolished by Gerrard’s men, who finished on 102 points as they went the entire league campaign unbeaten.
The standard of football is lower in the Scottish leagues but it’s hard to overlook an accomplishment like that, particularly after how long Rangers went without a league title.
What was most impressive, however, was his defensive record. Wolves were particularly abject in this department in 2020/21, keeping just ten clean sheets in their 38 league games. By contrast, Gerrard stabilised the Rangers backline as they shipped only 13 goals in the Scottish Premiership, keeping a remarkable 26 clean sheets. Across all competitions, they enjoyed a mightily impressive 34 shutouts.
Wolves lacked goals this season with Raul Jimenez missing since November but they did not give themselves a chance at times with some lacklustre defending. A 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Burnley last month is ample evidence for where it has gone wrong.
The Liverpudlian could have a significant impact on the Wolves defence and he also carries himself brilliantly. Gerrard has always been a fabulous leader and that has transferred into his man-management as a coach.
Speaking about the former England international earlier this year, Sir Alex Ferguson said: “He’s done magnificent. He really has, both on and off the field.”
The multi-Premier League winner continued: “A press interview can lose you your job in management. But Steven’s press conferences are fantastic. He’s cool, he’s composed, he gives the right answers. He’s really top because it’s an art.”
The Rangers boss is not a master of his craft yet but, if this season has told us anything, it’s that Gerrard will likely develop into a top-class manager. Surely Wolves want a piece of that?