Wolverhampton Wanderers face the nervy prospect of potentially needing to replace their whole midfield this summer, with the likes of Ruben Neves, Leander Dendoncker and Joao Moutinho all linked with moves away from the Molineux.
Losing Moutinho would be a huge blow but fortunately, Lage may already have a replacement for the latter, with 24-year-old Connor Ronan ready to stake his claim.
The midfielder is out of contract in the summer so will need to sign a new deal himself. However, after spending the last six years on loan, he is finally ready for first-team life at Molineux.
His latest spell at Scottish Premiership side St. Mirren has seen the Republic of Ireland youth international elevate his game to new heights, all whilst discovering his goal-scoring touch.
St. Mirren have made use of Ronan’s versatility this season, with manager Steve Robinson playing the Wolves loanee in various positions across the midfield, with the majority of his appearances seeing him deployed as an attacking midfielder as per Transfermarkt.
Ronan’s seven goals and four assists this season in 25 SPFL appearances has seen him scoop three awards for St. Mirren – the player of the year award, social media player of the year and goal of the year.
The 24-year-old, who has been described as a “lovely” by former teammate George Dobson, has earned plaudits from Saints manager Steve Robinson, who has reiterated that he would like to keep Ronan at the club, as per Birmingham Mail.
Though, with the uncertainty of Moutinho amidst Roma links, Lage may want to give Ronan a chance to fill the boots of the Portuguese veteran.
This season, we’ve seen the likes of 23-year-old Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall seize his opportunity at Leicester and immediately adapt to Premier League football, after completing a couple of successful loan spells.
Wolves have the opportunity to test Ronan’s ability in the top flight in the exact same way.
His end product and consistency in Scotland’s top flight would suggest that he has all of the attributes needed to adequately replace the 36-year-old Moutinho, though the Wolves gem will need to improve on his average passes per game average of 39.5 which falls under Moutinho’s Premier League average of 55.5 passes per match average, as per WhoScored.
If he can do that, though, he could well leapfrog the current darling of the academy, Luke Cundle, in the midfield pecking order. However, he will have to earn a new contract first.