Taking to Twitter, the journalist stated: “Podence is a bit of a grey area, has an injury and potentially could play through injections, but he’s unwilling at the moment because he might aggravate that problem.”
The Molineux side have been without the 26-year-old for the last three games and in that time have failed to score a single goal – coincidence much? As a result, Lage will need to find a burst of attacking threat from somewhere and must not shy away from unleashing Pedro Neto in Podence’s absence.
Wolves face a tough ask in their quest to bring European football back to Molineux for next season. In their final four Premier League games, they take on Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, with Norwich as the penultimate match.
With goals having been hard to come by this season for the Old Gold, with only 33 in their 34 top-flight games, they cannot afford to be shy in front of goal against three of the league’s best defences.
This is where the under-utilised Neto, who has been described by journalist Sanjeev Jasani as “unbelievable”, comes in.
The 22-year-old has made just nine appearances this season after missing more than half of the campaign due to a knee injury that he sustained towards the end of last term – as per Transfermarkt. he has been sidelined for a mammoth 295 days.
In those nine Premier League appearances, he has started just once, with all of his other outings coming from the bench.
Wolves are in dire need of a player who can provide a cutting edge in the final third, and given his previous form before his injury, Neto is certainly that player.
He bagged five goals and provided six assists in the 2020/21 campaign. Based on this season’s metrics, that would see him as Wolves’ second-highest scorer and leading assists provider in the current Premier League campaign, had he replicated those numbers.
Given that Chelsea boast the third-best defence in the league having conceded just 29 goals this season, it’s apparent that a Wolves side who have failed to score over their last three matches will require something special to find the back of the net against Thomas Tuchel’s side. Neto cold be the man to provide it, particularly with Podence laid low.