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Wolves: Hugo Bueno was Lopetegui’s first Molineux hero

Julen Lopetegui got off to a winning start as Wolves manager as the Old Gold earned a less than convincing 2-0 win over Gillingham in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.

In their first game after the World Cup break, a strong Wolves side struggled to break down the team currently bottom of League Two, with only late goals from Raul Jimenez and Rayan Ait-Nouri securing their place in the quarter-finals.

There were plenty of underwhelming performances from Wolves’ senior players against the Gills but not from Hugo Bueno, with the young left-back picking up where he left off prior to the World Cup break.

As per Sofascore, the teenage defender – making just his seventh appearance of the campaign – earned an impressive 7.6/10 rating for his performance on Tuesday, with only Ruben Neves rated higher (7.7) from both teams.

During the 90 minutes, the Portuguese full-back saw a huge amount of the ball, registering an impressive 106 touches and completing 68 of his 74 passes to end with a strong completion rate of 92%.

Considering that he has averaged just 23.8 passes in his six Premier League appearances this season, with a success rate of 86.7%, it is clear that he raised his game, albeit against inferior opposition.

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He also provided a huge creative spark down the left-hand side, contributing as many as three key passes at Molineux, with no player on the pitch playing more.

Express and Star journalist Liam Keen was full of praise for the left-back on Twitter during the match, writing: “Bueno, by the way, is superb. Another lovely run down the left almost results in a Costa header, before Hodge has a shot blocked.”

While the 19-year-old wasn’t challenged too much defensively, he showed that he could help to alleviate Wolves’ goalscoring woes in the Premier League this season, contributing one shot, six crosses and one successful dribble in the 90 minutes.

Lopetegui will need a lot more from his players if they are to avoid relegation from the top flight, but Bueno showed his new manager that he could be a great option for Wolves at left-back for the rest of the campaign.