While Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Bruno Lage may well be operating with something of a threadbare squad at present – having lost a host of key figures over the summer – that fact has had a positive outcome with regards to the promotion of young talent.
One young man who has been on the cusp of the first-team of late is defender Hugo Bueno, with the 20-year-old having been named in the matchday squad on a handful of occasions so far this term, albeit with a senior outing having as yet eluded him.
A left-back by trade, the promising Spaniard could well prove hard to ignore for much longer such has been his form at youth level of late, having notably provided two assists in just three Premier League 2 games so far this season.
The attacking full-back appears to have continued the sparkling form that he had showcased last season, scoring four goals and providing seven assists from his left-sided berth in just 17 games across all fronts.
Such a creative touch could well be vital for the Molineux outfit at present, with the Old Gold having so far scored just three goals in their opening seven league games, having previously only scored at a rate of one goal per game last term.
With only three senior full-backs in Lage’s squad – in the form of Jonny, Nelson Semedo and Rayan Ait-Nouri – there is no doubt a need for further competition in the defensive ranks, particularly with Marcal and Ruben Vinagre having both left the club over the summer.
Part of an exciting crop of prospects alongside the likes of Chem Campbell and Lee Harkin, Bueno could well be a real long-term option for the Midlands side, with the club able to save themselves millions on bringing in new recruits by turning to their academy talent.
The youngster has already been on the receiving end of hefty praise from Wolves’ U23’s coach, James Collins, who lauded his work rate following a win over Newcastle United last season, stating:
“You talk about hard work, and that boy works harder than anyone I know. After we finish training he grabs a bag of balls and he’s doing little stepovers and jinks. I actually tease him at times because I tell him that’s not his game, but then he gets in those positions and he produces it and scores.
“Some people think that’s luck or talent, but that’s not talent, that’s him working extremely hard at his craft to become more threatening in the attacking thirds, and he’s got his rewards tonight, which he may well have got earlier on in the season at different times, but he’s been unlucky, so I was delighted for him to get his goals tonight.”
That ringing endorsement should well be a sign to Lage that he can trust the emerging sensation if he is to hand him a first-team debut in the near future, with Bueno having no doubt done more than enough to warrant the promotion.