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Wolves targeting World Cup star Harry Souttar

Wolverhampton Wanderers are reportedly interested in signing Stoke City defender Harry Souttar in January and the Australian centre-back could be an ideal second signing for Julen Lopetegui at Molineux.

What’s the word?

According to TEAMtalk, both Wolves and West Ham are keen on adding the 24-year-old to their ranks in next month’s transfer window, after the six-foot-six defender caught the eye with the Socceroos at the World Cup in Qatar.

Souttar has been linked with the Old Gold previously but saw his hopes of a Premier League switch dashed when he suffered an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament in 2021.

It was even more impressive that he was such a star at the World Cup, as he had only just recovered from spending nearly a year on the sidelines when he featured for Graham Arnold’s side in Qatar.

The young defender was instrumental in their run to the quarter-finals, helping Australia to clean sheets against Denmark and Tunisia in the group stages before they were defeated by eventual winners Argentina in the round of 16.

Souttar an ideal second signing

Wolves have certainly regressed from a defensive perspective this season, with the departures of Romain Saiss, Conor Coady and Willy Boly proving extremely costly, as after looking so strong at the back in the last campaign, the Old Gold have shipped 25 goals in just 16 Premier League games this term.

Lopetegui has already worked to try and solve Wolves’ attacking woes in the second half of the season by signing Matheus Cunha on a loan-to-buy deal from Atletico Madrid.

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Bruno Lage on the touchline for Wolves.

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The Spanish manager must now recognise the serious lack of depth at centre-back in his squad, as both Toti and Yerson Mosquera arguably don’t have the necessary experience or quality for a relegation battle.

Souttar showed with his performances in Qatar that he can be a leader at the back and he has also impressed for the Potters in the Championship so far this campaign, averaging a strong 7.02 rating from WhoScored for his performances in the second tier.

The Athletic’s Jordan Campbell was full of praise for the 24-year-old during the World Cup on Twitter. He wrote: “Big Harry Souttar. An absolute monster of a defender. Huge, quick, can head it and is also fairly comfortable on the ball.”

Lopetegui started his Wolves reign with a vital win against Everton but he needs to strengthen all over the pitch if he wants to pull away from the relegation places, and signing a giant of a defender could be exactly what the Midlands club needs to improve defensively in 2023.