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Wolves: Lopetegui must ditch Nelson Semedo v Everton

Wolverhampton Wanderers return to Premier League action away to Everton this afternoon, with the Midlanders hoping to get off to a positive start in the top flight under new manager Julen Lopetegui.

The experienced Spaniard – who replaced Bruno Lage in the dugout last month – has been tasked with trying to revive the Molineux outfit’s current fortunes, with the club currently languishing at the foot of the table with just ten points from their opening 15 league games.

With four points currently separating the Old Gold and the 17th-placed Toffees, a win for Wolves would help to swiftly close the gap on those outside of the drop zone, with a return to the Championship seemingly unfathomable for a club who were reaching the latter stages of the Europa League just a few years ago.

The hope will be for Lopetegui to build upon the positive start to his tenure, with the 56-year-old having seen his team run out 2-0 winners over Gillingham in the Carabao Cup last week to book their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Despite the comfortable scoreline, however, it was far from a smooth ride for Wolves on the night, with a handful of well-known names potentially having played themselves out of contention for the trip to Goodison Park.

One such player who should be ditched from the line-up today is Portuguese dud, Nelson Semedo, with the former Barcelona man having yet again proven a liability in his full-back berth against the bottom club in League Two.

Should Semedo start against Everton?

No

No

Yes

Yes

The floundering right-back – who arrived from Camp Nou for a reported fee of £36.8m in September 2020 – was notably criticised by Birmingham Live‘s Alex Dicken, with journalist awarding him a 4/10 match rating.

Dickon wrote: ‘One cross midway through the second half summed up Semedo’s season – and supporters let him know about it. He hasn’t delivered and if Wolves sign a right-back in January, Semedo surely has to leave.’

The Express and Star‘s Liam Keen was just as critical of the 29-year-old’s performance, with the respected journalist notably writing that the defender had been ‘out of position, losing possession and offering little attacking menace’.

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Bruno Lage on the touchline for Wolves.

1. Wolves kick-started 2022 with an impressive win over Manchester United at Old Trafford, who scored the winner?

That lack of quality was evidenced by the fact the £80k-per-week Semedo failed to complete either of his two crosses and was unable to register any key passes against Gillingham as a marker of his shortcomings offensively, having also squandered possession eight times (as per Sofascore).

Such woes have seemingly been the story of Semedo’s time in England to date, with the 24-cap Portugal defender[s performances having been branded “useless” by talkSPORT pundit Gabby Agbonlahor earlier this season.

The one-time Benfica man – who has scored twice and registered just four assists in 78 games for Wolves to date – simply does not deserve to start against Frank Lampard’s side, having been so dismally poor both in midweek and largely throughout his time at the club.