Defeat against league leaders Arsenal on Saturday evening meant that Wolves will sit bottom of the Premier League at Christmas and the Spanish manager has a huge job on his hands if he wants to ensure that his new side retain their top-flight status.
While Wolves lost some big names such as Romain Saiss and Conor Coady during the summer transfer window, the crux of their squad from last season remains the same, which suggests that a number of players have simply underperformed in the current campaign.
One such example is versatile defender Jonny Otto, with the Spaniard having struggled immensely on his appearances this term, with the disappointing 4-0 home thrashing against Leicester City perhaps the prime example.
The former Atletico Madrid man was tormented throughout by Harvey Barnes, with Birmingham Live’s Alex Dicken lambasting the defender in their player ratings after the game, awarding him a dismal 2/10 and writing:
“Jonny was incredibly lucky not to be hooked after 20 minutes. He was at fault for both of Leicester’s first two goals with some dreadful defending. He did nothing but create problems for his own team.”
Former Wolves man Andy Thompson also expressed his concerns about the defender following that embarrassing defeat.
He said: “I just think at the moment that Jonny needs to come out. We looked at him on Saturday against Leicester and he looked heavy-legged and lethargic – which is unlike him. It’s very unlike him, but he looked like he was struggling throughout the game.”
Last season saw Jonny average a solid 6.75 rating from WhoScored for his performances in the Premier League, although he made just 12 appearances, so was clearly the second choice behind Nelson Semedo at right-back and Rayan Ait-Nouri at left-back.
However, this term has seen him already make 12 appearances in the top flight, averaging a 6.55 rating, and his decline in form and increased minutes is perhaps one of the reasons behind Wolves’ regression in the league.
Therefore, now that Lopetegui is officially manager and has time to work with some of his squad during the World Cup, he should definitely consider ditching Jonny from his first team after a shocking start to the campaign.