While things under the leadership of Bruno Lage have started to look on the up for Wolverhampton Wanderers in recent weeks, with results on the pitch having improved rather drastically, there is nevertheless one particular issue that could be starting to play on the 45-year-old manager’s mind.
This is the conundrum of Morgan Gibbs-White, with the attacking midfielder having been sent out on loan to Sheffield United this summer as a result of Wolves’ additions of both right-winger Francisco Trincao and centre-forward Hee-chan Hwang.
Indeed, speaking recently about the potential January activation of a recall clause in the 21-year-old’s temporary contract at Bramall Lane, Lage said: “When Hwang came, we took the decision to let Morgan go and play. We are very happy with him and what he is doing.”
It is easy to see why the Wolves boss is happy with Gibbs-White’s performances for the Blades, as, over his eight Championship appearances so far this season, the £6.3m-rated man has scored three goals, registered two assists and created three big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 2.6 shots and making 1.4 key passes per game.
However, with Lage himself admitting that the signing of Hwang has pushed Gibbs-White down the pecking order at Molineux, it is difficult to see where Gibbs-White fits into the 45-year-old’s plans. Wolves have the option of signing the South Korea international for around £13m next summer while holding a similar option to purchase Trincao from Barcelona at the end of the season.
This is a situation that certainly has the potential to cause the former Benfica manager a problem, as, with Wolves fans not appearing happy at the player who Chris Basham dubbed a “breath of fresh air” being bombed out of the club on loan this summer, the prospect of Lage selling Gibbs-White permanently is likely to be an even less popular decision.