The Old Gold occupy 19th spot in the league table, level on points with bottom club Nottingham Forest and the ex-Real Madrid manager will need all his tactical know-how and wizardry to manoeuvre Wolves away from the drop zone.
There have been plenty of players who haven’t pulled their weight in the league this season, with poor performances from experienced figures such as Joao Moutinho not exactly helping the club.
Diego Costa has struggled at Wolves since joining in September, failing to find the back of the net and receiving a red card. He is clearly lacking match fitness and has been unable to showcase his natural ability, but Lopetegui might just save the Molineux side’s season by getting the 34-year-old back to his best.
Wolves’ current goalscoring woes have been evident since the beginning of last term. They managed to find the net on just 38 occasions in the league, while after 14 matches of 2022/23, have netted only eight goals, the lowest in the division.
During the Spaniard’s managerial career so far, he has taken charge of 368 matches, with his teams scoring an impressive 682 goals in that period, which may prove to be a good omen for the Old Gold.
Lopetegui’s reputation of managing free-scoring teams combined with Costa’s goalscoring instinct could well be the perfect remedy to ensure Wolves start scoring more regularly and racking up a few more wins to ensure their survival.
With the enforced hiatus due to the 2022 World Cup, it could be the perfect time for the former Chelsea hitman to build up his fitness and prove to his new manager he is deserving of a spot in the starting XI.
Jose Mourinho once dubbed Costa as an “animal” for his aggressive approach, and if he finds his customary predatory instinct sooner rather than later, Wolves may be a different beast during the second half of the campaign.