Wolverhampton Wanderers had a strange summer of transfer activity. The Midlands club went weeks without even a sniff of an arrival, before then signing Goncalo Guedes and Matheus Nunes within close proximity to each other.
This was a big boost to the Molineux faithful, who must have been getting nervy with the lack of transfer activity, especially with the Premier League season looming closer.
It took until the sixth league game for the Old Gold to record their first victory, a 1-0 win over Southampton last weekend, and this will hopefully be the catalyst to propel them towards a good run of form.
Despite the impressive coups of Nunes and Guedes, Bruno Lage did have one shocker in the market, and that was the departure of Conor Coady to Everton on a season-long loan deal.
Last season, Wolves only conceded 43 league goals, the fifth-best record in the division, and the 29-year-old was an integral part of Lage’s defence.
The Englishman averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.99 while starting every single match of their league campaign.
He chipped in with four goals and kept 11 clean sheets while also having a 90% pass success rate, showing his confidence in his passing ability and being able to generate attacks from the heart of defence.
Since his move to Everton, his form has shown no sign of slowing down, playing five matches for his new team and averaging a rating of 6.96 from SofaScore. The defender has made six clearances, 0.2 tackles and 0.4 interceptions per match while featuring in a defence which has kept one clean sheet, while they are on a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions in which they have conceded just three goals.
Everton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure lavished praise upon the defender when he signed for the Toffees, saying: “He is going to help us a lot this season. All the times I have played against him, he was a good character and very consistent.
“We are very happy to have him in our team – he is a leader, like another of the new signings, James Tarkowski.”
Although Wolves have been resolute at the back so far this term, conceding just four league goals, Lage is not blessed with centre-back depth.
Of the four options available to him, three are 23 or younger and lack the ample experience of Coady. One of those is Yerson Mosquera, who last season suffered a serious hamstring injury and could be liable to break down again.
The £16.5k-p/w Coady has certainly started the season well, and many of the Molineux faithful must still be perplexed at Lage’s decision to send him on loan in the first place, as the manager is being proven wrong to have let him depart given the 29-year-old’s performances on Merseyside.