While the predicted absence of Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Francisco Trincao will undoubtedly come as a huge blow to Bruno Lage ahead of Wolves’ Premier League fixture this weekend, there could be something of a silver lining to the unavailability of the 21-year-old sensation.
Indeed, with Lage more than likely being unable to call upon the services of the Barcelona loanee in the West Midlands derby against Aston Villa on Saturday, his absence will create space for an attacking player in the Portuguese manager’s matchday squad – one which could be filled by a player extremely stylistically similar to Trincao, the up-and-coming talent of Chem Campbell.
While the 18-year-old has only made one first-team appearance for Wolves so far in his career – an appearance which just so happened to make him the second-youngest player to ever feature for the club – the winger has been making something of a name for himself in the club’s youth setup.
Indeed, over his 21 appearances for the U18 side, the self-titled “creative” player scored an impressive seven goals, while, over his 34 appearances so far for Wolves’ U23 outfit, the 18-year-old has bagged four goals and registered one assist.
However, aside from his haul of goals and assists, the former Wales U17 international also looks to be an extraordinarily gifted technical player. The Express & Star journalist Liam Keen once wrote that Campbell makes “intelligent runs in behind” the defence, has extremely “quick feet” and “enjoys receiving the ball early to run at defenders” – in addition to labelling the teenager a “prodigy” at Molineux.
It is undeniable that Trincao has been hugely impressive since joining the club with 3.2 dribbles per game an eye-catching statistic.
However, if their 45-year-old manager did indeed replace the Portugal international with Campbell this weekend, and the youngster goes on to impress, the question may be raised in Lage’s head as to whether he should pay the reported £25m fee, as well as his £140k-per-week wages, to sign the 21-year-old permanently next summer.
After all, he could simply place his trust in one of the club’s most promising home-grown talents, something that could end up saving Wolves millions.