Wolverhampton Wanderers right wing-back Ki-Jana Hoever was forced off in his side’s 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon after just 25 minutes with the Dutchman seemingly suffering a hamstring strain.
However, the 20-year-old’s side were 1-0 down to the Eagles when he was unable to continue with Lage making strong comments on the situation post-match.
“Ki is a good example of the young kids, they want everything to happen [now],” said Lage.
“When you are out and your teammate is playing, and you are not training at the intensity, you are not preparing yourself and after, when you have a chance, these kinds of things happen.
“I have too many kids in my team that sometimes don’t work the way they should work. They do not prepare the way they should prepare and after, when they come inside [the team], these kinds of things happen.
“When they are in training they are thinking a lot, ‘Oh I’m not playing’, and I said to them in the first day when I started, ‘We are here, you need to continue to work. The first target is to work and improve.’
“Injuries can happen, but this one happened because he was not prepared because Ki sometimes doesn’t work in the same intensity. This warning is not only for Ki, it’s for all the kids we have in our team.”
Following strong comments, it’s clear to see that the Wolves manager wasn’t best pleased with the wing-back who now leaves the 45-year-old with a crisis at right wing-back.
The young Dutchman certainly has pedigree, having made the move to Molineux from Liverpool in 2020, but is yet to make a genuine impression in the West Midlands.
Hoever has made 25 appearances for the Golden Boys in the almost two seasons he’s been at the club, registering one assist in that period and accumulating 1,241 minutes of action, an average of 49.64 minutes per game.
With wing-back Jonny, who prefers playing on the left, the man to replace Hoever on Saturday, Lage is now having to put square pegs in round holes as a result of the youngster’s injury as his side look to continue their push for a European spot after three league defeats on the bounce.