The last thing Nuno Santo wanted was yet more woes in attack. However, in the shape of Willian Jose, that’s exactly what Wolves currently have.
The Brazilian became the chosen one in January as the Old Gold opted to sign him over other targets in a bid to strengthen their attack.
With Raul Jimenez out since November because of a fractured skull, Wolves have been timid and have lacked a presence in forward areas.
Initially, it looked as though Jose would give them renewed vigour. Fabio Silva and Patrick Cutrone have scored twice between them following Jimenez’s injury but since his arrival from Real Sociedad on loan, Jose has not been good enough.
At first glance, he appeared to be in the same mould to Wolves’ iconic Mexican forward. There is still time for him to come good but the early signs are hardly positive.
His performance against Newcastle on Saturday typified his tough start to life in England. He struggled to make an option for himself and unlike Wolves’ number 9, he didn’t bring his teammates into play on a regular basis.
After the opening half an hour, the striker failed to pick out a single Wolves player with a pass. During his time on the field, he very rarely got on the ball to do anything productive. The 29-year-old only completed 11 passes, one fewer than goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
Everything the attacker did lacked spark as Jose failed to have a single shot at goal. It was hardly surprising that Fabio Silva replaced him after 82 minutes but that was arguably too little too late.
After all, this was one of his worst performances for the Old Gold yet. Analysing the game at full-time, Tim Spiers was damning in his assessment of the striker. He wrote in his post-match Q&A for The Athletic: “Willian Jose’s levels have dipped. Much of Neto and Traore’s excellent play going unrewarded.”
Indeed, Adama Traore provided four key passes throughout the contest while Pedro Neto managed three. It was rather shocking that Jose wasn’t able to get himself into a position to score with service as good as that.
It’s just as well Wolves only have an option to buy the forward, rather than an obligation. At the moment, Jose will not be worth the potential £18m they’d need to pay in the summer.