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Wolves failed with Austin Samuels

Much of Wolves‘ summer transfer window was dedicated to finding a new striker for Bruno Lage’s side, with goalscoring still a huge problem for the Old Gold.

After finishing as the lowest scorers (38) of the sides not to be relegated from the Premier League last season, it was clear that Wolves needed another striker to compete with Raul Jimenez.

The Mexican forward finished as both Wolves’ top scorer and assister last season in the top flight, with just six goals and four assists, which emphasises how much Lage’s side struggled in front of goal.

Fabio Silva was loaned to Anderlecht and Sasa Kalajdzic arrived from Stuttgart, only to damage his ACL on his debut against Southampton.

This led to Diego Costa joining on a free transfer following the transfer deadline, with Wolves clearly desperate for attacking reinforcements after scoring just three goals in their opening seven fixtures this season.

Could Samuels have emulated Jimenez?

Yes

Yes

No

No

However, Lage may not have required either Kalajdzic or Costa had former academy star Austin Samuels made the grade at Molineux.

The 21-year-old striker was at Wolves for 13 years and excelled in the U18s and U21s, scoring an impressive 31 goals in 86 appearances, but he was never given an opportunity in the first team.

Samuels even spoke about his desire to emulate Jimenez in Wolves’ side, which suggests that he could have been an intriguing heir to the former Benfica man had he realised his obvious potential at Molineux.

He said: “Playing as a nine, I try to emulate Jimenez as much as I can. We’re not exactly the same type of player, but I’ve tried to learn from what he does in terms of linking the play.”

Disappointing loan spells with Bradford City and Aberdeen, where he managed just one goal in a combined 21 appearances, would follow and Samuels was eventually released from his Wolves contract last summer.

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However, he did earn a lot of praise from former Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass, who said:

“Austin did really well, he was positive, direct, he even turned a couple of clearances into opportunities for us which is a little bit different to what we’ve had before. That pace and that energy up front was exciting for us, he’s a real forward-thinking player.”

He would join Scottish second-tier side Inverness Caledonian Thistle where he has rediscovered his goalscoring touch somewhat, hitting six goals in 29 appearances.

At 21, Samuels could still have a bright future in football, but it is a shame that he didn’t come good at Wolves having done so well in the academy just a few years ago, as he could have eased the glaring issues in the Old Gold’s attack under Lage.

Article title: Wolves failed with Austin Samuels

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