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Wolves: Ki-Jana Hoever struggles in place of Nelson Semedo

Wolverhampton Wanderers suffered another major blow to their hopes of securing a top-six finish with a 1-0 loss at West Ham United on Sunday afternoon, with Hammers midfielder Tomas Soucek scoring the sole goal around the hour mark.

The defeat comes just three days after Bruno Lage’s side were crushingly beaten in the 95th minute by Arsenal on Thursday evening, five miles away from Sunday’s venue at The Emirates.

Having taken an early lead through Hwang Hee-Chan, the West Midlands side conceded twice in the final 13 minutes to lose against another serious contender in the race for Europe.

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Which club did Wolves loan Willian Jose from in the 2021 January transfer window?

Having lost twice in the capital within the space of four days, Wolves sit eighth, five points off sixth-placed Arsenal who also have two games in hand.

What will also be of concern for Lage is the injury to right wing-back Nelson Semedo, who was absent in East London with Ki-Jana Hoever taking his place. However, it was a tricky afternoon for the 20-year-old.

According to SofaScore, the Dutchman was Wolves’ second-worst player, picking up a 6.3/10 rating behind Fabio Silva’s 6.1 in what was a slightly rotated side after two trips to London in quick succession.

Sunday’s game was just Hoever’s seventh Premier League appearance of the season, having started on just two other occasions this campaign in the top-flight.

The youngster had a nervy performance, losing the ball on 20 occasions, having made 55 touches all game, meaning that the Dutchman gave away possession every 2.7 touches.

Although he was able to make three tackles, other departments of the wing-back’s defensive game lacked, with Hoever making just one clearance and an interception with no blocks whilst winning just 36% of his duels.

Should Lage drop Hoever for the next game?

Yes

Yes

No

No

It’s a wing-back’s job to be flexible in both offence and defence, and at the other end of the pitch, the 20-year-old’s fortunes didn’t improve.

The right-wing-back failed to get a single shot away whilst having zero dribble success, attempting two. Moreover, Hoever failed to complete a single cross or long ball and didn’t make a key pass whilst averaging a 73% passing success rate.

After Semedo was forced to be withdrawn on Thursday night after an hour against the Gunners, with Jonny Otto taking his place, it seems as though the Portuguese may be set for a spell on the sidelines, meaning that Hoever has an opportunity to impress.

However, timid performances such as Sunday’s won’t support the 20-year-old’s cause with Jonny, although usually left-sided, certainly waiting in the wings for whatever opportunity comes his way.

In other news: Fosun disaster: Wolves dropped huge clanger over “exceptional” £54m-rated “monster”

Article title: Wolves: Ki-Jana Hoever struggles in place of Nelson Semedo

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