Former Wolves loanee Vitinha didn’t enjoy much success at Molineux last season, as the midfielder was subject to just 22 appearances for the West Midlands club under former manager Nuno Espirito Santo.
The Portuguese youngster failed to impress during an underwhelming campaign as the Black Country outfit finished 13th in the Premier League.
However, upon his arrival at Wolves, the midfielder was showered with praise by executive chairman Jeff Shi, who said:
“Vitinha is a crucial signing and an integral component in our recruitment plan for this summer. He is an exciting and special young talent, with an abundance of technique and creativity.”
Having struggled to make a positive impact for Wolves, the English side refused to take up their £16m option to buy and the 22-year-old subsequently returned to his parent club, FC Porto.
However, the West Midlands outfit may be kicking themselves with Vitinha now starring for the Portuguese juggernaut.
The midfielder has made 40 appearances across all competitions this season for Porto, with six of those coming in the Champions League as the youngster featured in all of his side’s group games before dropping down to the Europa League.
After a slow start to the season where the Portuguese starlet had to prove himself to manager Sergio Conceicao, patience has paid off with the 22-year-old starting 22 of Porto’s 29 league games this term.
Although the quality of the Portuguese top-flight is lower than that of the Premier League, Vitinha has certainly come a long way in a short period of time, with his market value also proving a good indicator of his progress.
When the midfielder made the move to Molineux, he was worth just £4.5m, according to Transfermarkt.
Having registered just one goal and one assist in an underwhelming season, the 22-year-old didn’t see much of an rise in his valuation, with a £1.8m increase.
Wolves will almost certainly be in the market for a new midfielder this summer with Joao Moutinho’s contract expiring in the summer, while Ruben Neves has been heavily linked with a move away – with Manchester United seemingly the front runners.
Therefore, by paying the £16m for Vitinha, not only could Wolves have secured a future profit but also a long-term successor to Moutinho, which would’ve allowed for recruitment of top quality in other positions to be pursued instead.
Granted, there were little signs from Vitinha that suggested he would be a revelation in a Wolves shirt, however, under new management in Bruno Lage, it would’ve certainly been worth a punt to see if the midfielder could turn around his fortunes at Molineux.