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Wolves struck gold by signing Romain Saiss in 2016

Almost six years on from signing for Wolverhampton Wanderers, defender Romain Saiss has proven to be an absolute bargain for the West Midlands outfit.

Having joined from French side Angers whilst Wolves were still in the Championship for a fee of around £3m, the centre-back was predominantly a midfielder.

Labelled as a “tower of strength” earlier this season by Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy, the Moroccan made 24 appearances in the second tier during his first season, before becoming a kingpin for Nuno Espirito Santo’s promotion-winning team the following year, playing 42 of their 46 league matches as a defensive midfielder.

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Since then, the 31-year-old has gone from strength to strength, playing 103 Premier League matches for the Molineux outfit, as well as playing 14 times during Wolves’ Europa League run in the 2019/20 campaign.

This season, in particular, has been a success for the centre-back, with Wolves the third-best defensive unit in the top-flight behind Liverpool and Manchester City, having conceded 21 goals in 26 matches; Saiss has played in 24 of them.

However, when you remember how little Wanderers paid to secure the services of Saiss in 2016, it becomes clear how much of a bargain the Morocco international actually turned out to be.

According to Transfermarkt, Wolves slightly underpaid for the then 26-year-old as it was deemed that the defender was worth £3.6m that summer.

This decreased to £3.15m later on in the 2016/17 season, however, Saiss’ value rocketed following Wolves’ promotion campaign, with £3.15m rising to £5.4m.

Again, there was a slight decrease early in the 2018/19 campaign down to £4.5m where it remained for a year before the pandemic saw the Moroccan’s value drop even further to £3.6m.

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It was after this decrease that the 31-year-old’s value accelerated once again, doubling from £3.6m to £7.2m in July 2020 before reaching its peak that October of £9m.

Saiss was valued at £9m, three times his initial transfer fee, for a year before slightly falling to his current valuation of £8.1m with age certainly a contributing factor.

The £22k-per-week defender’s contract at Molineux expires in June, with it still unclear as to whether or not the Moroccan will be seeking ventures elsewhere after a six-year-long tenure with the West Midlands outfit.

Out of current manager Bruno Lage’s preferred defensive trio of Saiss, Conor Coady and Max Kilman, the Moroccan is the eldest by almost three years, with the defender set to turn 32 next month whilst Coady turned 29 last week.

If the Moroccan does opt to leave Wolves at the end of the season, Lage will be losing an excellent defender as well as an experienced player and will certainly have a major void to fill.

Article title: Wolves struck gold by signing Romain Saiss in 2016

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