Wolves have an abundance of young defensive talent coming through their youth academy, as well as the likes of Toti Gomes and Max Kilman who are years away from reaching their prime and still have a large amount of potential.
This could make it hard for players like Dion Sanderson, who at 22-years-old, is struggling on loan with Championship outfit Queens Park Rangers, after joining them in January following an encouraging spell with Birmingham City in the first half of the season.
In his last three outings for the West London club, he has averaged an awful match rating of 5.8, as well as picking up a red card in a 2-1 win over Blackpool.
At the weekend in QPR’s 3-1 loss at home to struggling Peterborough, he suffered even more, and was branded ‘absolutely dreadful‘ by local media for his shambolic defensive display, which saw him win just three of his eleven duels and lose possession 19 times.
Indeed, West London Sport’s podcast team were hardly complimentary of him either with Ian McCullough lamenting his discipline, saying that he was “sent off stupidly against Blackpool” while fellow reporter Dan Bennett said that “he looks panicked every time he gets the ball.”
Despite his recent form, Wolves loan manager Matt Jackson still believes Sanderson has what it takes to be a Championship player, saying: “We know Dion can be at least a Championship centre-back for the rest of his career.
“He’s proved that. We had loads of interest in January and we could have placed him in multiple places. The QPR style of play is good for Dion because Mark [Warburton, QPR manager] really encourages them to pass the ball.
“It’s a tight ground too, it can be a difficult place to play, so that’s a good challenge. And he’s got the challenge of trying to get into a promotion-chasing team and be around a squad and see what that looks like.”
However, unless he picks it up and bounces back with an impressive end to the season over the last run of games, he could find himself transfer-listed by Wolves manager Bruno Lage. After all, his displays of late indicate that he is nowhere near being of the quality to play in the Premier League.
Should the Portuguese boss have already chosen to sell Sanderson, he could follow the same strategy Tottenham have used for their homegrown centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers, who has had a number of loan spells and contract extensions before finally attracting interest in him, with suitors now prepared to pay a heftier fee than before.
Valued at just £270k by Transfermarkt, the West Midlands club will definitely feel they can get more for him, so expect him to have at least one more temporary spell away from Molineux in the second tier next season, in order for the club to attract as high a fee as possible.