Wolverhampton Wanderers are currently facing something of a centre-forward crisis at present, with injury having left manager Bruno Lage distinctly short of options ahead of the return to Premier League action this weekend.
Summer signing Sasa Kalajdzic suffered an unfortunate ACL blow on debut following his £15.5m arrival from Stuttgart last month, with the Austria international now facing a lengthy stint on the sidelines that will see him miss the majority of the current campaign.
Those woes have been compounded by the current absence of fellow striker, Raul Jimenez, with the former Benfica man having been restricted to just two league starts so far this season for the Midlands side.
The 31-year-old had only returned from an extended spell on the treatment table last year after suffering a life-threatening head injury following a collision with Arsenal’s David Luiz in November 2020, with the Mexican having struggled to recapture the prolific form he had showcased following his arrival in England in 2018.
After scoring 30 league goals across his first two Premier League campaigns combined, the £13.5m-rated marksman has since scored just ten in the most recent two seasons, albeit with his tally of six last term still the joint-highest in all competitions among Lage’s squad.
That has laid bare just how goal-shy the Molineux outfit of late have been, having since scored just three goals in seven league games thus far this term, after recording the fourth fewest number of goals in the division last term.
The solution to that problem at present is that of recent capture Diego Costa, with excitement building at the prospect of seeing the 33-year-old make his debut for the club, following his free transfer move.
Rather than look to the winter market for a solution, however, the Old Gold could well be bettered served promoting from within, with promising academy gem Leon Chiwome one such figure who could well be called upon.
While only 16, the teenager has already made a strong impression in the youth ranks of late, having scored two goals in just three appearances at Premier League U18 level so far this term, while previously being lauded as a player with “huge potential” by AFC Wimbledon academy manager Michael Hamilton.
The exciting striker has also been recognised for his talent by earning an inclusion in the Guardian’s Next Gen list, alongside the top 20 best talents in the top-flight, with Wolves’ Jonathan Hunter-Barrett labelling him as a player who “knows where the back of the net is.”
At present, it would appear that the senior stars are struggling to pose a threat in the final third, with promoting a clinical asset such as Chiwome potentially the ideal answer.