Wolves‘ squad was already looking thin on the ground ahead of the new Premier League campaign, and Bruno Lage will now be forced to cope without Chiquinho after he suffered a nasty injury in pre-season.
The 22-year-old appeared for the Old Gold in their 3-0 win against Burnley at the weekend but was taken off, with a scan later revealing that he had suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.
The Athletic’s Steve Madeley wrote on Twitter: “Huge blow for Wolves and Chiquinho. Lengthy lay-off inevitable.”
Chiquinho had scored Wolves’ final goal in the win against Vincent Kompany’s team but could now be out for as long as nine months, which means he will miss the vast majority of the 2022/23 campaign.
The young winger joined the Old Gold from Estoril in January and impressed in his nine first-team appearances last season, contributing three assists despite making just one start in the Premier League.
His two assists from the bench in a memorable late comeback against Chelsea would have had fans excited to see what he is capable of this season, but it would be a surprise if we see him appear for Wolves again before 2023.
Lage used Chiquinho as an example for his other players last season, saying: “Look at Chiquinho. Sometimes he only plays five or 10 minutes, but every time he goes on, he goes with everything to try and win the duels. Everyone needs to do that because this level of competition is very high.”
Therefore, the Portuguese manager would perhaps have been planning to utilise the young winger more regularly next season and will be gutted with this injury update.
It leaves Wolves extremely short of first-team options ahead of the new season, as the Old Gold are still yet to make a new signing this summer, while the likes of Marcal and Romain Saiss have left permanently.
Given the lack of goals in Lage’s team last season, losing another attacker so close to the season’s opening match against Leeds is definitely a huge blow, and supporters will be gutted to hear that Chiquinho will be out injured for so long.
AND, in other news… Bruno Lage plotting bid for £15m “goal king”, he’d be a “phenomenon” for Wolves