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Wolves could save millions on Joe Hodge

Wolverhampton Wanderers are currently still waiting to name a successor to former boss Bruno Lage, following the 46-year-old’s recent sacking, albeit with ex-Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui seemingly the name on everybody’s lips at present.

Whether it is the Spaniard – or another – who takes the reigns at Molineux moving forward remains to be seen, although any new appointment will seemingly be met by an undoubtedly talented squad that is simply underperforming at present.

Among that stellar cast of names is a host of emerging youngsters who could well be set to take on a more prominent role in the years to come, with the likes of Hugo Bueno and Chem Campbell just two of the academy assets to have flirted with the first-team so far this term.

Another figure whom any incoming boss may also be wise to look out for is 20-year-old starlet, Joe Hodge, with the promising midfielder having enjoyed his first taste of life at senior level in the defeat to Chelsea at the weekend.

Thrust into the fray at half-time by the interim pairing of Steve Davis and James Collins for that meeting at Stamford Bridge, the Republic of Ireland youth international hardly looked overawed by the occasion, producing a composed display in the centre of the park alongside the experienced Joao Moutinho.

While the hosts were seemingly already in control upon the playmaker’s introduction to the game, having held a one-goal advantage heading in at the break, the youngster was still able to shine against such elite opposition, offering a “bit of a threat” to Graham Potter’s side, in the words of pundit Paul Corry.

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The Manchester-born starlet was also notably lauded for his performance against the Blues by journalist Liam Keen, who stated on Twitter: “Joe Hodge should be proud of his first 45 minutes for Wolves’ first team. Tenacious, brave and technical.”

The Guardian’s Sachin Nakrani also tipped the diminutive ace to take on a greater role under the new boss, whoever it may be, writing that: ‘he looks like a player to whom Wolves’s next manager – expected by most to be Julen Lopetegui – should give more minutes in the coming weeks and months.’

That glowing assessment is a marker of the former Manchester City man’s obvious quality, having notably caught the eye in the club’s U21 ranks so far this term after netting twice in the EFL Trophy triumph over Shrewsbury Town at the end of August.

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A former winner of the Scholar of the Year award during his time with City – whom he left to join the Old Gold last summer – Hodge is clearly a player to keep an eye on moving forward, with a permanent promotion to the first-team likely to see any new manager save themselves millions.

Article title: Wolves could save millions on Joe Hodge

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