Wolverhampton Wanderers’ transfer activity in the previous few seasons has been questionable at best. They have signed some gems that have vastly improved the first team, for example, Ruben Neves arrived for just £15.8m when the club was in the Championship and has been a mainstay in the side ever since.
However, there have been a fair share of players arriving at Molineux for big transfer fees and they haven’t lived up to expectations. Fabio Silva joined in 2020 in a £35m move and scored just four goals in 62 appearances before joining Belgian side Anderlecht for a season-long loan deal in the summer.
It looks like it could be a colossal waste of money but Bruno Lage might have another youngster who could very well make the club a fortune in the next year or so if he keeps impressing.
When Wolves signed Rayan Ait-Nouri on loan from French side Angers on loan in 2020, no one would have expected him to make as big an impact as he did.
The left-back has gone from strength to strength and last season he averaged a 6.9 rating from SofaScore for his performances in the Premier League. Ait-Nouri was impressive going forward, making 0.7 key passes per match while also creating three big chances over the course of the campaign.
Defensively he was excellent, with the 21-year-old making 2.8 tackles, one interception, and 1.3 clearances per match, while winning 55% of his total duels, proving that only is he strong in the tackle but also extremely diligent at the art of defending.
His positive development has seen his value grow substantially over the previous year, with CIES Football Observatory valuing the player at €30m (£26.2m), meaning the Old Gold have nearly tripled their original investment in the space of just over a year.
The “creative” full-back will likely keep improving as time goes on and Lage will face a fight to keep him at Molineux in the long term.
Chelsea were linked with a move in the summer but nothing materialised and Lage will be hoping that when the time comes for the Frenchman to move on, the club can make a significant profit on him.