Wolves’ transfer business last summer left plenty to be desired. In fact, it’s rather simple to describe it as abject as the season has gone on.
Nelson Semedo, a player who could ultimately cost a similar fee after add-ons, has also been poor, being described as a “liability” defensively.
However, one deal that’s looking shrewder by the day is the arrangement that saw Vitinha come to Molineux on a season-long loan. Shi worked an option to buy of €16m (£13.6m) into the transfer and it’s looking likely that they’ll utilise that when the next window opens.
This would be superb business for a player improving all the time. Rarely-seen in the Wolves first team – he has started only twice in the Premier League – he is slowly starting to prove just how important he could be for Wolves.
Vitinha’s parent club is Porto but it would be a great surprise if that was the case for much longer. After all, his performances during the European U21 Championships so far have been impeccable.
The 21-year-old has been playing in midfield for Portugal and he helped them to finish top of a group including Croatia and England.
He has been one of the standout players so far, registering an assist against Switzerland on Wednesday evening in what was an all-action couple of days for Vitinha.
The midfielder set the tone during his first outing against Croatia. The young prodigy managed a considerable five dribbles while he also completed two key passes. On top of that, Vitinha registered a pass success rate of 91%.
He was equally impressive against England, shining against players who regularly feature in the Premier League. Vitinha had the beating of Emile Smith Rowe, Oliver Skipp and Tom Davies in the middle of the park, taking 102 touches and completing 94% of his passes.
On that occasion, the Wolves youngster managed a solitary key pass and one dribble.
He arguably saved his best performance until last. Vitinha suppled Diogo Queiros for their opener on Wednesday versus the Swiss and made three key passes during his 73 minutes on the field. He managed 115 touches and again, completed over 90% of his passes.
When Vitinha first signed for Wolves, he was dubbed as “special” by Shi. Certainly, you can see why that’s the case.
This season has been tipped as Joao Moutinho’s final campaign as a regular in the Old Gold’s starting XI and if they utilise their option to buy in the summer, Vitinha could well be his successor.
Speaking about the midfielder last year, Jornal de Notícias reporter, Nuno Barbosa, said: “You’ll realise he knows what to do at every moment of the game, he’s very similar to Joao Moutinho.”
After such an impressive run of games over the international break, Nuno should finally unleash him in the Wolves starting XI on a regular basis.
He’s now proven he can light it up against some of the best young players on the continent.